Forbes Magazine posted an article appearing in the April 15, 2013 issue about how Milwaukee has become a “water technology mecca.” The article described how Milwaukee has made a name for itself in the estimated $483 billion global water industry by creating connections between industry and academia.
In an era where many municipalities are struggling financially, Milwaukee’s success is obviously attracting interest. Data are hard to come by, but so far there’s been an $80 million investment in buildings and infrastructure from a variety of sources, including $22 million in private money for the business accelerator.
Writer Joann Muller interviewed Rich Meeusen, CEO of Badger Meter, about how Milwaukee solidified itself as a global leader in the water technology industry. As Meeusen points out, it started with skilled manufacturers who used to build parts for breweries, tanneries, and paper mills during the late 19th and early 20th century. The skilled manufactures saw their business expand dramatically even while the breweries, tanneries and paper mills relocated. Instead of going out of business, the manufacturers that supplied parts for these factories evolved and started marketing their pumps, valves, and meters for global sale. As a result, Meeusen says, most of the world’s meters, heaters, filters, fixtures and pumps come out of Milwaukee.
Meeusen noted that Water Council members have streamlined the process of creating a network of private water technology companies, research institutions, colleges & universities, and start up entrepreneurs. “If you’re an expert in water,” Meeusen says, “You belong in Milwaukee.”
Click here to read more: The Capitol of Water–Forbes Magazine
UPDATE 4/23/13: Forbes India is also carrying the story here: Milwaukee: An Emerging Water Technology Hub