The Water Council has an interesting role as a non-profit that works alongside many local for-profit companies. We get to see first hand how water companies respond to global demand for a whole host of water services. That demand will only increase as populations continue to stress water resources.
That demand was evidenced in two developments showing clear growth in the water sector. The first development involved Xylem, a water technology provider with Wisconsin offices in Pewaukee. Xylem spun off ITT Corporation in 2011 as a result of growing business and the need to increase share value. “One of the reasons for the spinoff is that the growth potential is in the water markets,” said Jim Peterson, Managing Director of Xylem’s Pewaukee pump factory. What resulted was the explosive growth of a water technology company that now boasts 2,500 employees working in more than 320 locations on 6 continents–a truly global company.
Water technology is now a $500 billion global growth sector. Xylem is just one of the many companies that make Milwaukee such a unique international hub for water technology. Another Water Council member and global water technology company in Southeastern Wisconsin that has been making news is InSinkErator.
InSinkErator, famous for their garbage disposal systems, has been headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin since the 1920s. Last week it was reported that InSinkErator was responsible for the 5 percent boost recorded in first quarter sales by Emerson Electric, its parent company.
“The pockets of growth our businesses captured were encouraging even though the level of total investment in our end markets continues to be slow,” said chairman and CEO David Farr. “Recent order trends suggest market conditions have stabilized and may be poised for improvement, particularly in the emerging markets.”
Water technology and the need for efficient management will only grow as populations expand and infrastructure ages, and Milwaukee’s global business opportunities will continue to expand as the market recognizes the leadership and expertise of the regional water cluster.