Anyone who has seen Rich Meeusen speak knows that he has a passion for water. With water challenges facing most of the world today, Meeusen came up with the idea for a Water Council to bring people together and find solutions. “A child dies every 20 seconds in the world from lack of freshwater,” Meeusen says, “With the companies we have here–with the talent we have here–we can develop the technologies to solve the world’s water problems.”
It was this passion that caught the attention of WisconsinEye. WisconsinEye provides civic coverage of topics deemed relevant to the state’s development. Steve Walters hosted Meeusen to talk on the WisconsinEye’s Newsmakers program about the regional water cluster, the future of The Water Council, and the state’s business climate.
“Several years ago, Rich Meeusen of Badger Meter had a dream, had an idea, ‘There’s no reason Milwaukee can’t become a center for freshwater expertise.’ That dream has come quite far.”
The interview summarized the birth and aims of The Water Council. Meeusen came up with the idea while driving home from a meeting at A.O. Smith when he realized that, “Most of the world’s meters, heaters, filters, fixtures and pumps come out of Milwaukee.” Meeusen contacted Julia Taylor to explore the possibility of creating a group devoted to water and came up with three areas of developmental goals for The Water Council:
- Economic Development
- Talent Development
- Technological Development
Later in the interview, Walters and Meeusen talked about the water accelerator building and the prospects of an entire business park devoted to water technology. The building will be the “trump card” that sets it far ahead of all other water groups said Meeusen. One of the great things about this new building is the ease with which a developer can take a prototype down to the flow lab on the first floor to have a graduate student test the technology under the guidance of professors from the School for Freshwater Sciences, who will also have space in the building. This is a process that Meeusen said would take weeks for a startup business anywhere else in the world.
You can find the whole interview with Rich Meeusen on WisconsinEye here: Newsmakers with Rich Meeusen