Global Compact Cities Programme

6 Aug 2014
The Water Council – one of USA’s leading innovators

Milwaukee continues to move from strength to strength

The Water Council (based in Milwaukee, USA) has recently been recognized as one of 30 leading innovators in America by the U.S Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).

USGLC is a broad-based network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders  who support a smart power approach of promoting diplomacy and development alongside defence.

With the Innovations in Smart Power report, USLCG have recognised the USA’s  most forward-thinking businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working with one another and with the federal government in innovative ways to tackle some of the toughest global problems. These include food and water security, disease prevention, educating the next generation of world leaders. See Innovations in Smart Power

Milwaukee’s relationship with the Global Compact Cities Programme has been recognised as contributing to these achievements. The USCLG report states ‘that through the Water Council’s work with the Cities Programme, shared knowledge, expertise, and innovations in water technology, Milwaukee has been established as a global hub for fresh water technology, education and economic development’.

Milwaukee has been an Innovating City with the Cities Programme since 2009. With its roots in economic development, Milwaukee’s Water initiatives, which began with the efforts of the Spirit of Milwaukee and the city’s industry leaders, provide an excellent example of what can be achieved by a city’s business community when they are dedicated to rejuvenating and developing a region and do so in collaboration with city and regional government and agencies, universities and civil society. Its a powerful mix when sustained over many years.

Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of the Water Council says that “as a result of its recognition by the Cities Programme, many national and international companies approach the council to establish operations in Milwaukee”.

The Water Council plays an important role regionally and internationally. It hosts annual Water Summits in its drive to advance the region’s ambition as a water innovator, groups from over 20 countries participate to learn more about Milwaukee’s water technology cluster.

The innovative work of the Milwaukee Water Council has also garnered the attention of the Wisconsin Historical Society which believe that Milwaukee’s water technology entrepreneurs and scientists are shaping history. The Historical Society aims to work with the Water Council to record its activities in real time. The agency wishes to document events as they unfold and save every document, speech, photograph and anything else that belongs to the narrative of Milwaukee’s water project.

The Water Council has also recently announced a new role as the  North American Office for the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is a multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to enhancing water stewardship capacity, and guiding, incentivizing and differentiating responsible water use. The new Water Council, AWS partnership will work to line up companies for voluntary AWS standards within North America and then help train those companies on how to implement them.

Hence, through these innovative approaches and multiple partnerships, The Water Council is fast establishing Milwaukee as a global hub for water research and technology – and a leading model for visionary business-city-civil society collaboration.

The full USGLC report is available here: Innovations in Smart Power

For more on the Council’s partnership with the Historical Society see: Historical Society to archive region’s water initiatives

For more on the Water Council’s new stewardship role see: Water Council to add Water Stewardship role


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