VISIT Milwaukee is proud to welcome the US Water Alliance’s One Water Summit, The Water Council’s Water Leaders Summit and Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Conference this fall, drawing in 1,200 attendees and over $1.2 million in total estimated economic impact.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these groups, which continue to cement Milwaukee’s reputation as one of the top destinations in the world for water innovation, scholarship, and technology,” said National Account Executive, Laura Lutter Cole for VISIT Milwaukee. “Combine freshwater assets with the Wisconsin Center’s 300,000 square feet of function space, and some of the lowest airfares in the nation, and Milwaukee’s ‘Fresh Coast’ location is just the right destination for memorable water meetings of all sizes.”

Deemed The Capital of Water by Forbes Magazine, Milwaukee is home to the nation's first School of Freshwater Sciences at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Water Law and Policy Initiative at Marquette University Law School and The Water Council, a nonprofit organization that brings together the region's water technology companies and universities. The designation as a U.N. Global Compact City distinguishes Milwaukee as a worldwide leader and as an international hub of water research and technology.

“Milwaukee is a hub not just for water technology but also innovation and stewardship. It’s only natural that water-related organizations want to meet in a city that revolves around freshwater to live, work and play,” said Dean Amhaus, The Water Council president and CEO.

Milwaukee is home to headquarters for water industry companies, including Xylem Sanitaire (biological treatment solutions), A. O. Smith (water heating and water treating), and Badger Meter (water metering technology and flow solutions); additionally, companies such as Molson Coors (beverage company) use Lake Michigan water in manufacturing processes.  

The global water industry totals over $655 billion annually and Lake Michigan ranks as the fourth largest freshwater lake in the world. The Milwaukee Region’s water industry is a $10.5 billion market, supporting 20,000 jobs and accounting for 4% of the total world water business. 

“Great people, the Great Lakes, and a commitment to protect both has made Milwaukee the epicenter for water innovation throughout the country. Milwaukee went green before green was cool and because of this our region is more climate-ready than most and doing more every day to become more prepared. We are prepared to move even further by working with our strong, diverse coalition of partners to address our future watershed issues,” said Kevin Shafer, executive director of Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Summits/ Conferences

US Water Alliance’s One Water Summit – Sept. 12-14 
The US Water Alliance's One Water Summit gathers the most diverse group of water stakeholders in the country for a completely unique and urgent conversation about the future of water through engaging plenaries and workshops, dynamic institutes and site visits, and plenty of networking time between individuals, organizations, and delegations. The Summit also serves as a time to award the US Water Prize, where they will recognize outstanding One Water leaders across the nation. 

The Water Council Water Leaders’ Summit – Oct. 5-6 
The Water Council’s Water Leaders Summit will explore the link between water innovation and water stewardship. Both are critical if the world hopes to solve global water challenges such as scarcity, drought, flooding and contamination. Sessions include: Water Innovation & Stewardship in the 21st Century, Water’s Role in National Security and Economic Growth vs. Water Scarcity.

Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Conference 2022 – Oct. 18-19
The Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Conference will gather Great Lakes advocates to discuss cutting-edge issues surrounding the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes and the communities that rely on them for their drinking water, health, and way of life. The event also features an entertaining and compelling mix of environmental, justice and arts stories and presentations.