Government Technology

Milwaukee, Wis., Switches From Beer to Water

The Global Water Center, slated to open in 2013. Photo: The Milwaukee Water Council.

Launches Global Water Center

August 15, 2012 By

Milwaukee, Wis., — formerly known as the beer capital of the world — has switched to water. Officials on Monday, Aug. 13, announced the launch of the Global Water Center, a first stage of what could eventually become a water quality research park.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – who in July declared a state drought emergency – spoke at the ground-breaking, saying "Milwaukee is the water hub of the world. When you think of clean water, when you think of fresh water technologies, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the place you need to think about."

But is research really needed on America’s water supply? After all, the earth is covered with the stuff.

Water may become even more important than beer as the planet heats up, as civilization dumps more pollutants into the water supply, and America’s city water infrastructure leaks and deteriorates. Consider some recent news about drinking water: Iron water pipes are corroding and leaking lots of the tasteless liquid; pharmaceuticals — discarded or “excreted” — are a growing problem in tap water since water treatment plants can’t deal effectively with them; hexavalent chromium – the chemical villain in the movie Erin Brockovich – is again in the news as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Working Group filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Public Health for failing to protect state residents from the chemical.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health-conscious Americans spend billions on bottled water, 40 percent of which is just repackaged tap water; and a new bonanza of natural gas — extracted in the United States by “fracking” — could possibly contaminate groundwater with chemicals. In addition, predictable patterns of rainfall appear to be breaking down, with droughts in the West and flooding elsewhere.

There’s more. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, water leaked from homes by running toilets, dripping faucets, etc., could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year — equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined. And in the final absurdity, some American cities still use wooden water pipes.

Milwaukee’s Global Water Center likely will address at least some of these technical challenges. The Milwaukee Water Council will renovate a seven-story warehouse to make the center, the first step of what officials hope will someday become a technology park. Officials said they are aiming to create nothing less than a Silicon Valley for water technology and water-related research. The city is said to be home to more than 150 businesses in the water technology industry.

The 98,000 square-foot Global Water Center, slated to open in 2013, is envisioned to be a business incubator and shared research space for government, private industry and education. The warehouse will be transformed to include a lecture hall, a water flow laboratory and an exhibition hall for prototype technologies.

The building’s first tenants are a mix of public and private entities: A.O. Smith, Badger Meter, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Grundfos Pumps, Hanging Gardens, the International Water Association, the Water Council, Pave Drain, Sloan Valve, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Veolia Water North America, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Xela Innovations.

“The new water research and business accelerator building is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and one of only a handful in the world,” the Milwaukee Water Council said.

| More

You May Also Like


RealOscar    |    Commented August 16, 2012

The above article is very funny, considering the fact that Milwaukee's storm sewer and regular sewer are run through the same pipes. Their combined sewage is pumped into a gigantic tunnel to await normal, settling pond processing. The tunnel overflows in large rainstorms. The untreated overflow is then pumped into Lake Michigan. Just remember that people, when you hear of scott walker in national politics. "When you think of clean water...Milwaukee". Ha, ha, ha, ha!

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
McAfee Enterprise Security Manager and Threat Intelligence Exchange
As a part of the Intel® Security product offering, McAfee® Enterprise Security Manager and McAfee Threat Intelligence Exchange work together to provide organizations with exactly what they need to fight advanced threats. You get the situational awareness, actionable intelligence, and instantaneous speed to immediately identify, respond to, and proactively neutralize threats in just milliseconds.
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
View All

Featured Papers