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Water Summit 2014

Water Summit 2014

Created by The Water Council, the Global Water Center was highlighted at Water Summit 2014, a conference for and by people interested in the global water industry. As the Water Council describes the event, it explores “the opportunities businesses, universities, communities, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and non-government agencies have as Milwaukee continues to thrive as a leader in the global water economy.” Topics included water innovation and sustainability, financing and investment, and operating in the global water market. In attendance were knowledgeable people about contemporary water issues providing breakout sessions, exhibits, and various presentations.

Alison Bauter of the Milwaukee Business Journal bulleted three important points from the conference:

·        “Don’t look out the window to Lake Michigan to think about this”

o   Milwaukee has become a water industry leader. The quote above is an effort to get us thinking beyond Lake Michigan, beyond our local economy, and to see the potential and benefits of our global needs.

·        Rethinking water

o   Speakers at the event stressed the unique opportunity that Milwaukee has right now, created by the risks caused by water uncertainty and scarcity. One word that seemed to consistently pop up? Collaboration. Government, nonprofit, academic, and corporate collaboration is the key to success.

·        Reed Street Yards as a neighborhood ecosystem

o   Reed Street Yards is an eco-industrial zone, which, once complete, will contain a system of urban bio-swales, rain gardens, and water recapture.  The finished project will be able to harness power plant wastewater to provide heating with virtually no energy in. This project will house companies and startups associated with the Global Water Center.

Water Summit 2014 was a huge success and 2015 is expected to yield an even larger crowd, as Milwaukee continues to enforce its position as the "Freshwater Capital of the World".