Milwaukee Melbourne Model Pilot
Maintaining and Improving Water Quality


Discovery World-Pier Milwaukee

Discovery World-Pier Milwaukee

An Innovating City of the UN Compact Global Cities Programme, Milwaukee is fast establishing itself as a World Water Hub working across every aspect of water – to build a new economic base for its region – to improve the local environment and water systems – and to enhance the community’s quality of life.

This is being achieved through collaboration and partnership:

  • across the business community – specifically through building a coalition of water technology businesses and services;
  • partnering with State Universities in applied research and education of new professionals;
  •  improving water quality and sanitation with governance and regulatory systems and most recently,
  • educating and engaging the general public.

In its role as a UNGCCP Innovating City, Milwaukee has specifically chosen to prioritize, implement and monitor the consequence of a number of integrated sub-projects that make a difference in water quality in the City of Milwaukee and the surrounding region.

The Great Lakes Ecosystem, in which Milwaukee sits at its heart, is under significant, system altering stress. The region faces a host water resource problems from chemical pollution from mercury and other contaminants, to new sources of contamination by pharmaceuticals and personal care products, to invasive species and exotic pathogens, to widespread beach closing and combined sewer overflows to ground water overdraws and Great Lakes diversions.

It is widely recognized in the scientific community that to advance in our understanding of the complex problems that are at the heart of freshwater issues, a multi-disciplinary and multi organizational approach is needed – the transitional model of studying water issues from the perspective of single scientific discipline is no longer germane (American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2003; National Research Council, 2000). Built on broad inter-sectoral partnerships the Milwaukee 7 Water Council has been formed to actively address these seemingly insurmountable problems.

The Milwaukee Water Council

The Milwaukee Water Council was formally created in 2009 with the vision of building Milwaukee as a global hub for water sustainability. The council is comprised of a diverse membership from businesses, universities, individuals, government, investment firms and non-profit organizations, it has been successful in bringing together civic leaders and leading water treatment innovators and has supported the establishment of a graduate School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Milwaukee water council is a prime example of  of what can be achieved when cities work collaboratively across all levels of government with business and civil society on complex and seemingly intractable issues.

The Water Council has so far identified  14 sub-projects it means to complete and  has adopted the goals set forth by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Science as its four foundation pillars for its project aimed at maintaining and improving water quality:

System Dynamics To better understand the processes related to freshwater systems dynamics – Health and Sustainability To study the environment-to-ecological-health continuum that links the health of freshwater environment with human population health– Freshwater and Technology To develop and create technologies that will create sustainable freshwater infrastructure and supplies as well as improve human and environmental health – Policy and Management To develop a policy and management program aimed at balancing the protection and utilization of freshwater

Project Contacts:

Dean Amhaus, Executive Director, The Water Council

Targeted Projects and Sub-Projects:

Aquaculture and Aquaponics



Sewage Treatment

New Technologies

Contaminants/Water Quality

Integrated Solutions For Multiple Water Problems


  • 2009 Design
  • 2010 Implementation
  • 2011 Implementation
  • 2012 Evaluation


Milwaukee 7 Water CEO Call Program Final Report, 2009

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