National Competition Now Open and Prizes Announced to Advance Water Entrepreneurship

“Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water” launched by Veolia, The Water Council and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to encourage water entrepreneurs

A national competition was launched yesterday to reward new ideas and approaches for improving sustainability and resiliency efforts in the water and clean tech industries. Sponsored by Veolia, The Water Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the new program is called “Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water” and offers cash prizes, mentoring opportunities, funding for tuition/training expenses and offices for one year.

The “Pow!” program offers a unique opportunity for innovators and social entrepreneurs to fast-track their water-related ideas while connecting them to water industry influencers and experts who can directly support their company’s services, products or ideas.

Up to three winners who address one of four challenges will be chosen to enter the program. The four areas include: smart-data technologies, resilience and sustainable water management, watershed management, and disruptive water innovation.

“From financial rewards to true collaboration with experts and universities, ‘Pow!’ represents an opportunity to make a difference and contribute to global improvements in how we manage water,” explained Laurent Auguste, Veolia’s Senior Executive Vice President Innovation and Markets. “We’re looking for entrepreneurs and innovators who embrace the energy and ideas behind such a vision and opportunity.”

To attract ideas, a variety of prizes and support are being offered to each winner including:

  • $25,000 cash prize from Veolia
  • $15,000 cash prize from The Water Council and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • $10,000 tuition to The BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.), The Water Council’s Business Accelerator that includes water technology experts and mentors
  • Access to faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School for Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Marquette University
  • Business model and operations training through The Water Council
  • 12 months of free office space in Veolia’s suite at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, along with access to the Global Water Center’s Flow Lab
  • Exchanges and mentoring with Veolia experts, along with exposure to actual field challenges, and,
  • Leveraging Veolia’s network to potentially deploy solutions in other geographies.

“The partnership between The Water Council and Veolia demonstrates the global impact Wisconsin’s technology innovations are having within the industry,” said Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Deputy Secretary Tricia Braun. “We are pleased to work with Veolia on this exciting program designed to bring new water solutions to life within Wisconsin’s Global Water Center.”

Applying entrepreneurs, innovators and companies must have a water-related innovation that can serve as the basis for a viable new business. Participants will need to relocate key staff to the Global Water Center in Milwaukee during the program’s one-year duration.

Pow! is the first corporate water technology accelerator part of The Water Council’s BREW Corporate, an expansion to the existing BREW accelerator program.

“The Milwaukee region is cultivating some truly impressive talent with technologies focused on water quality and quantity. Our partnership with Veolia and the POW! program is testament to the global market these entrepreneurs are capable of entering,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council.

Entrants can submit their online entry through November 15, 2015. There is no fee to enter the competition. A judging panel will select up to three startups, with winners being announced in December 2015.

Once winners are selected, a mentoring group will be established to provide collaboration and support. Selected startups will begin the program in January 2016 and be hosted by Veolia at the Global Water Center in Milwaukee.

For official rules and to learn more about the 2015 “Pow! emPowering Opportunities in Water!” Program, visit

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Application Process Now Open for Water Council Pilot Deployment Program

Transferring water research from the lab with a working prototype, to real world pilot sites


The Water Council is now accepting applications for its Pilot Deployment Program which is designed to help transfer research from the lab with a working prototype, to real world pilot project demonstration sites for practical application. The Program will support businesses of all sizes by acting as a launch pad to validate and commercialize products that are near market introduction.

In August 2015, The Water Council announced a partnership with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Fund for Lake Michigan (FLM) that would provide $600,000 in joint funding over two years to advance new clean water technologies through the Pilot Deployment Program. The Program was launched in early 2015 through a Clean Technology & Innovation grant from Wells Fargo.

Under the Program, applications are being sought for the following three areas of emphasis:

  • Intelligent stormwater green infrastructure (e. cisterns, bioswales, green roofs, porous paving materials, etc.) – projects that create web-based infrastructure that allow for the active management of stormwater with green infrastructure systems and the integration thereof;
  • Stormwater quality – projects that enhance the ability to detect contaminants in stormwater and runoff, innovate the ability for best management practices to better capture and treat stormwater and polluted runoff from both urban and rural environments, and identify beneficial reuse of reclaimed water will be deemed high priority; and
  • Stormwater quantity – projects that achieve run-off control through delayed release to the sewer system and area waterways, improve infiltration rates of green infrastructure, and maximize bio-retention will also be deemed high priority.

Selected projects must address integrated water solutions through innovation, application, and demonstration while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable, and deployable model. The Program acts as a catalyst for companies and professionals who are developing new products that deliver significant water quality and/or quantity improvements.

“The Pilot Deployment Program reaffirms an incredibly important area of our mission, to improve world water health,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “This joint support and funding to help develop and validate new, cutting-edge products, will unleash a new wave of water technology innovation.”

With a membership that includes over 170 water technology organizations, The Water Council has unique resources to support technologies related to water quality and quantity. The Program will work with Water Council member companies of all sizes who have existing prototypes addressing these issues.

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8 Ways to Engage With Water Council Members & Partners At WEFTEC 2015


1. Sewage Brewage SMACK DOWN 
WEFTEC15 will host the first ever sewage brewage SMACK DOWN as the two titans of treatment enter the ring at WEF’s Innovation Pavilion on Sept. 29 at 4 PM. The Beast of the East—Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District—takes on the Best of the West—Oregon’s Clean Water Services in a duel to the last drop.


2. Build Relationships with Investors
The first Water Venture Investment Conference will begin with an evening reception on Sept. 29 in Chicago, where guests will have the opportunity to meet 15 federally funded water startup companies. The following day, join thought leaders, investors and startup companies for training sessions and connection opportunities.


3. Test Run the Global Water Port 
The Global Water Port, an online research and collaboration powerhouse, will launch during WEFTEC 2015! Stop by booth #455 to tryout the new platform.


4. Connect With International Delegates
On Sept. 29 the Canadian Consulate General will host B2B meetings while three guest speakers discuss opportunities in their Canadian firms. Later, round out your day from 4-6 PM, with the Netherlands Consulate in booth #1472 for an afternoon reception. Stop by the French Pavilion in booth #250 to meet French companies seeking collaboration with North-American counterparts.

5. Meet Experts on the Cutting-Edge of Water Technology Development
Discover the latest in water technology with three sessions focused on the newest winners of the BREW accelerator: BREW Tank, BREW Showcase and CROC Tank in the WEF Innovation Showcase Pavilion. Join The Water Council’s Karen Frost as she moderates a discussion around fostering new water technologies at the Stormwater Pavilion on Sept. 29 at 11:15 AM.

6. Explore Milwaukee’s Global Water Hub
International visitors are encouraged to join The Water Council on Oct. 1, for a tour of the most densely populated Water Technology Cluster in the United States, Milwaukee’s World Water Hub.


7. Visit the Wisconsin Innovation Pavilion
Stay connected with Wisconsin companies and Water Council Members by visiting Booth #455 and follow us on Twitter at @TheWaterCouncil #WisWater.


8. Expand Your Network 
Meet with some of the brightest water tech entrepreneurs, international groups and other prominent WEFTEC attendees on Sept. 28! Kick off your night, 5-6 PM, with valuable networking as The Water Council and Imagine H20 co-sponsor an evening reception in the WEF Innovation Showcase Pavilion.

Looking for more WEFTEC sessions and opportunities? Download the WEFTEC App for a full list of happenings.

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Online Water Research and Collaboration Ecosystem to Launch at International Water Technology Show

The Water Council and the innovationExchange rollout the Global Water Port – the most comprehensive tool of its kind

Global Water Port - Project DashboardIn conjunction with its participation at WEFTEC®, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference taking place in Chicago Sept. 26-30, The Water Council will launch the Global Water Port (, an online research and collaboration powerhouse—and the most comprehensive water ecosystem of its kind—developed to enhance connectivity within the water technology sector and among those interested in finding solutions to water-related challenges.

Through its partnership with the innovationExchange LLC and funded by a Regional Innovative Cluster contract through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Global Water Port utilizes inno360, a cognitive intelligence and predictive research engine equipped with IBM Watson™. The Global Water Port is a great addition to the already vast pool of resources The Water Council offers to water technology business professionals, large water users, utility managers and academics.

“The Global Water Port will be the cornerstone of innovation when individuals from across the world are seeking solutions to the numerous water issues that are before us,” stated Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “The challenges the world is facing with respect to water are best addressed through a ‘One Water’ mindset. The Port, with its ability to investigate unbounded and unstructured data utilizing powerful analytics and visualizations, will act as a platform for collaboration and innovation between all sectors, anytime, anywhere.”

Global Water Port - interactive search result diagram

The Water Council and the innovationExchange first conceived the idea for the Port in fall 2014 as a way to dramatically increase and improve cross sector water-related collaborative research. Since then, the Global Water Port has gone through extensive development and testing to become a user friendly tool allowing participants to gain industry insight, pitch projects, find and create solutions, monitor innovations, connect with global experts and bring new ideas to life.

Global Water Port - Communities Page“We are truly pleased to be partnering with The Water Council as the Global Water Port breaks new ground and allows individuals to connect, share and access the broadest landscape of relevant data and information in the water industry,” said Michael J. Turillo Jr, chairman and co-founder of the innovationExchange and inno360.

By incorporating the latest social collaboration tools and access to the most relevant content including patent, academic and industry databases, the Global Water Port provides the water ecosystem with an unprecedented engine for learning and networking in our combined quest for innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing water needs.

The Global Water Port will be available for test runs during the WEFTEC exhibition at McCormick Place in Chicago in the Wisconsin Water Innovation Pavilion (Booth #455). A live demo for the media will be presented on September 28 at 11:30 am CST at Booth #455.

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September 2015 Q3 Member Meeting Recap

September 9th marked the third Quarterly Member Meeting of 2015! Through the course of the afternoon, attendees discovered new opportunities at WEFTEC 2015, learned about water stewardship, and met the new BREW Crew. Thank you to ABB in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin for hosting us!


ABB’s Leap Towards Sustainable Innovation
ABB, founded in 1988 in Switzerland, is now one of the largest global engineering companies, employing over 145,000 people worldwide. Their organization breaks down into five main divisions, power products, power systems, discrete automation and motion, low voltage products and process automation. Their second largest location in the United States is currently located in Wisconsin.

After their plant in New Berlin reached capacity, ABB decided to expand to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Innovation Campus with a new building to match the cutting-edge persona of their company. As a global leader in power and automation technologies, ABB is on the look out for new ways to refine their business and productions and saw a new building as the perfect opportunity. Their Wauwatosa location now holds a Gold LEED Certificate. The company works within the local footprint of Southeast Wisconsin and employs around 600 people within the state.

KEYNOTE: Official Premier of Alliance for Water Stewardship – North America
Matt Howard, Director of Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) – North America, the newest addition to The Water Council team, brought up a question that has become increasingly relevant over the past year, ‘how can companies prosper in a water stressed world?’


As a ‘Megadrought’ looms on the horizon of the United States in the coming decades and Central California continues to pump ground water at increasing speeds, institutional investors are bringing up questions of water risk with large water using companies. Businesses are scouting for answers, and in the past year, 68% of companies reported water as a substantive business risk. Howard describes the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard as part of this solution.

AWS’s multi-stakeholder organization is dedicated to enhancing water stewardship by working with companies to identify risks and act strategically, being proactive, and demonstrating leadership in water stewardship through the implementation of the Standard. Organizations interested in learning more about the AWS Standard and certification can discover more here.

A Fresh New Look
The Water Council has been working behind the scenes on a new look that is ready to launch this fall! Along with the re-branded Tide, The Water Council’s monthly e-newsletter and updated event registration, a new website is under way. Can’t wait for the official launch? Join us at WEFTEC for a sneak peak.

WEFTEC Booth 2014_painting

Engage with Wisconsin at WEFTEC 2015
Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership, discusses how The Water Council, in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, is promoting the state’s strong business climate for water technology companies through the Wisconsin Water Innovation Pavilion at WEFTEC 2015. Join The Water Council and 36 other Wisconsin companies at the world’s largest annual water quality exhibition Sept 26-30 in Chicago. Learn more about the Wisconsin Pavilion here.

Talent & Education Committee – Building the Water Generation
Over the past few months, the Talent & Education Committee has been working on new methods of connecting interns with leading organizations in the water industry. Sometimes finding the time to connect in a busy lifestyle can be difficult, but with Inspire, a new career and college ready software targeted for middle and high students, it no longer has to be. Connecting with students is now only a click away.

A New Batch of BREW
Elizabeth Thelen, Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent, introduced our new group of global entrepreneurs in BREW Batch 3. The six new participants are ICONAC, IX Power Clean Water, OXYMem, Radom Corp., Solar Water Works, and Optiktechnik. They have settled into the Global Water Center and are looking for ways to engage with members. Learn more about the new businesses here.


Introducing the Small Business Channel
Karen Frost, Small Business Program Manager, shared the new name of The Water Council’s program that works with small businesses. The “Small Business Channel” which was previously known as the “Center of Excellence for Freshwater Innovation & Small Business Development” provides resources and services to small and medium water technology businesses across the nation.

A key component of helping organizations in our Water Technology Cluster connect with global businesses and talent is through the Global Water Port, the only tool of its kind—developed to enhance collaboration within the water technology sector and among those interested in finding solutions to water-related challenges. Stop by the Wisconsin Water Innovation Pavilion (Booth #455) at WEFTEC for a chance to test out the Port’s new features, including IBM’s Watson super charged search engine capabilities.

A huge thank you to ABB for hosting another successful Quarterly Meeting! Save the date for our Q4 Member Meeting, December 9th, with more details to come!

Click here for the full slide presentation.

Interested in joining The Water Council? Please contact Isaiah Perez, Member Services & Development Coordinator, at

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Water Council Receives Expanding Sector Award from Wisconsin Economic Development Association

Reed and Meghan

WEDC Secretary Reed Hall and Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership with The Water Council, at WEDA’s 2015 Community & Economic Development Awards on August 20.

The Water Council was delighted to receive the “Expanding Sector: Advancing Wisconsin’s Position in the World Marketplace” award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) at the 2015 Community & Economic Development Awards Ceremony. This award category recognizes efforts at growing an existing or emerging Wisconsin industry sector. Through these efforts, the nominees are enhancing Wisconsin’s brand and advancing our state’s position in the world marketplace.

Nominees had to meet the following criteria:

  • Measurable and quantitative impact on Wisconsin’s economy;
  • Qualitative impacts as provided by outside organizations and experts;
  • Demonstrates innovative approaches to advancing sector or brand;
  • Catalyst for economic development efforts at the local, regional or state level.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker reported a 7.4% increase in the exporting of water technology-related products, demonstrating a growing water economy in our state. Many of The Water Council’s programs and accomplishments to date would not have been possible without the support of our members and partners.  Thank you for your dedication and leadership in the water technology industry!

Congratulations to all of the 40+ winners and nominees of WEDA’s 2015 Community & Economic Development Awards, and an extra special thank you to the judges. It was a pleasure to be part of a wonderful and impactful evening celebrating Wisconsin’s best practices in economic development.

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JETRO Invitation Program: Environmental and Water Sector Business Matching Program in Osaka

JETRO 1The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is now excepting applications from overseas companies to Environmental and Water Sector Business Matching Program in Osaka. Japan’s Kansai area, including Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, is home to a number of Japan’s largest corporations and some of the country’s most innovative small & medium-sized enterprises. Cutting-edge manufacturing technologies combined with an ambitious entrepreneurial spirit have made Kansai a world leader in environmental and water sector technology. JETRO will organize individual business meetings between leading business entities from overseas and Kansai’s local companies in their respected field.

This invitation program is organized by JETRO Osaka, with the support of the Osaka Prefectural Government, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Osaka Foundation for Trade & Industry.

Potential invitees/applicants include corporate executives or decision makers of foreign companies seeking Japanese environmental technologies such as:

  • Waste treatment; Water recycling; Wastewater and sewage treatment; Exhaust gas treatment; Water purification; Sludge treatment; Biomass; Solid waste treatment; Water efficiency equipment
  • Companies interested in purchasing Japanese water/environmental technology
  • Companies interested in business collaboration with Japanese water/environmental technology firms
  • Companies seeking Japanese partners to develop businesses related to water/environmental technology

To apply, complete the attached application by Monday, August 31, 2015. Applications should be submitted by email to Robert Corder at JETRO Chicago at

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The Water Council Celebrates New Program the Pilot Project!


Please join Wells Fargo, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Fund for Lake Michigan, The Water Council, and special guest Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (invited) in announcing partner funding towards the Pilot Project, a new initiative lead by The Water Council. The Pilot Project will strengthen relationships between new product development and Water Council members with demonstration sites dedicated to furthering water quality in a “One Water” world.

Thursday, August 20, 11:30am-12:00pm

Water Plaza in Reed Street Yards
247 W. Freshwater Way
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Mayor Tom Barrett (invited), City of Milwaukee
TBD, Wells Fargo
Kevin Shafer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD)
Vicki Elkin, Fund for Lake Michigan
Dean Amhaus, The Water Council

No RSVP is needed. Please direct questions to Monica Pless


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An Interview with Matt Howard, The Water Council’s new Director of Alliance for Water Stewardship-North America

M Howard Headshot 3 2013What past experiences drew you to The Water Council and your current role as the Director of Alliance for Water Stewardship-North America?
My background in economics led me into the nascent field of sustainability early on in my career. My particular area of expertise focused on sustainability as a competitive advantage for businesses. As a result, I have been developing and managing sustainability programs at the national and local level for 10 years.

When I moved to Milwaukee to accept the job as the City’s Sustainability Director, I was privileged to work with Mayor Barrett on Great Lakes issues through his involvement in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. Leading the effort to develop the City’s sustainability plan (ReFresh Milwaukee which has a focus area on water) and my publication of North America’s first urban water system benchmarking report (Milwaukee’s Sustainable Municipal Water Management report) solidified my desire to move in a direction that would allow me to professionally devote my efforts to water stewardship and sustainability. I had always been impressed with The Water Council and its determination to establish Milwaukee as site of the world’s leading water cluster. When I learned that The Water Council was signing an exclusive partnership agreement with the international Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) to be their North American headquarters, I knew I had to be a part of it.

What are you most looking forward to working on at The Water Council?
I’m excited to be part of the all-star team Dean and the Board have put together. For me, being part of something at its conception with the AWS-North America is an amazing opportunity. But more importantly, knowing I have The Water Council team to fall back on for support gives me the confidence to go out there and try new things. This is an amazing time to be in the Global Water Center. Imagining what AWS, The Water Council and the Milwaukee region will be like in 5-10 years is very exciting to me.

What would you like to accomplish in your new role?
First and foremost, build a credible, robust North American marketplace and system to support the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard. As a result, AWS-North America will hopefully be put on a growth trajectory similar to the U.S. Green Building Council in its early history. Second, develop new water stewardship and sustainability programs for The Water Council that improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses while enhancing the sustainability of our freshwater resources. Third, be trusted by business as the choice resource for water stewardship

Who do you most look forward to engaging with (members, businesses, etc.)?
I’m eager to engage businesses that are seeking to enhance their water stewardship efforts. As we see in California and other water stressed regions of the United States, businesses must move quickly to mitigate their water-related risks but also invest in their communities and the health of local watersheds. We see the positive economic implications (as well as social and environmental) of this type of corporate water stewardship right here in Milwaukee with the tremendous success of the Menomonee Valley redevelopment.

I’m also excited to learn about and advocate for all the great things Water Council members are doing, dreaming and inventing. I know their products and services will reinforce the mission of the Alliance for Water Stewardship-North America. There’s so much happening at the Global Water Center the world has yet to know. I look forward to being a part of that story!

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Addressing Water Risk and Improving Water Stewardship in California


Southern California, July 28-29

The Alliance for Water Stewardship
(AWS) will be hosting two days of training on the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard in southern California at a location to be determined July 28 and 29 (most likely to be held in the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area).

Now is the time for California companies, consultancies, NGOs and other interested groups to promote individual water use responsibility and watershed-based collective actions to ensure Californians can continue to access quality water for business, personal and recreational needs.

AWS is a multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to enhancing water stewardship capacity, and guiding, incentivizing and differentiating responsible water use.  The International Water Stewardship Standard (the “AWS Standard”) is designed to support, recognize and reward collaborative efforts to manage shared water challenges while providing a strategic framework for companies to better manage water resources and associated costs and risks.

The first day of training (Foundations of Water Stewardship) will introduce water management and sustainability professionals to the AWS water stewardship system and certain water management concepts while equipping them with the knowledge they need to implement or promote water stewardship at site and watershed levels. This will include a specific segment on stakeholder engagement. The second day of training (Advanced Training in the AWS Standard) is people implementing the AWS Standard in their operations or those interested in gaining AWS accreditation for consulting, auditing or training services.

Cost per participant will be $450 or $800 for attending both days. This includes course material, lunch and refreshments. Travel or accommodation costs are not included. Reductions are available for non-profit organizations.

Foundations of Water Stewardship and Advanced Training in the AWS Standard are based on implementation of the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard, a standard owned by the international Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS). Together these courses meet Levels 1 and 2 requirements for professionals seeking AWS accreditation as auditor, consultant or trainer.

To register for the event click here. For more information on the training, email AWS-North America at or call 1 (414) 988-8749.

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