Contact: Meghan Jensen (414) 988-8754
MILWAUKEE, WI, Feb. 9, 2016 – The Water Council commends the President for submitting a budget proposal that directs $300 million toward the development of new solutions that will help address our nation’s challenges with respect to water quality and quantity issues.
“We applaud the White House for putting a spotlight on water technology innovation,” said Jim Stern, executive vice president for A. O. Smith Corporation and Chair of The Water Council Board’s Advocacy Committee. “Since 2007, we have been advocating for a world where investments in water technology are elevated to the same level as other industries. Milwaukee’s strength, history, and unique spirit of collaboration in water innovation complement the President’s proposal.”
With over 200 water technology companies, and 20 academic institutions with water-based curriculum, global delegations have been flocking to Milwaukee’s World Water Hub each year to witness and take notes on a successful public-private partnership in water technology that is spurring innovation.
The President’s budget proposes “an aggressive two-part water innovation strategy with the goals of: first boosting water sustainability through greater utilization of water-efficient and water-reuse technologies; and second, promoting and investing in breakthrough R&D that reduces the price and energy costs of new water supply technology.”
Of the $300 million proposed by the President, $88 million would be allocated to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support basic water research. Budget documents state, “the investment would enhance the scientific and engineering knowledge base and enable new technological solutions that will increase the Nation’s water supply and the quality of potable water and clean water for use in agriculture and industry processes or cooling.”
“For too long our federal government has danced around the edges of tackling water technology innovations,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “This statement by the President reinforces the White House’s growing commitment to fostering innovative solutions and sends an important message to the water technology industry to turn their ideas into commercial products.”
In December 2015, Amhaus participated on an opening panel for in an invite-only White House Roundtable on Water Innovation. In conjunction with the Roundtable, the U.S. Department of Interior announced plans for a new Natural Resource Investment Center for the purpose of luring private capital to help meet the country’s massive water infrastructure and conservation needs.
In July 2014, Amhaus co-led a private sector and university delegation with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to the White House to brief key White House staff on The Water Council’s progress and to emphasize the critical importance that the White House increase its focus on water technologies and innovation.
About The Water Council
The Water Council was established in 2009 by Milwaukee-area businesses, education and government leaders. The nonprofit organization, consisting of more than 180 members, links together global water technology companies, innovative water entrepreneurs, acclaimed academic research programs and, most importantly, some of the nation’s brightest and most energetic water professionals. The Water Council is capturing the attention of the world and transforming the Milwaukee region into a World Water Hub for freshwater research, economic development and education. Statewide, the water technology industry has more than 200 companies in Wisconsin, over 20 academic partners with water-based curriculum, and water-technology exports growing by 7.4 percent in 2014.