The only organization of its kind in the United States, The Water Council is a cluster of 200 local water-based industries and university research centers that has resulted in Milwaukee becoming recognized as a world hub for water research, education and economic development. Through the efforts of the Water Council, Milwaukee was awarded United Nations Global Compact City status, one of only 17 cities worldwide and the second in the U.S. to achieve this designation.
In 2013, The Water Council created a water research and business accelerator center in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, the Global Water Center. The six-story converted warehouse is now home to The Water Council, university research facilities, water-related companies, and accelerator space for new, emerging companies with a water emphasis. This building’s redevelopment also served as a catalyst for the development of the Reed Street Yards, which has been designated by the city of Milwaukee as a water technology research park and will serve as a global showcase for water management.
The UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS) is the first graduate school in the nation dedicated solely to the study of freshwater. Established in 2009, SFS expands a tradition of freshwater studies at UWM that began in 1966 with the Center for Great Lakes Studies.