With the two largest Great Lakes—Lake Michigan and Lake Superior—and the Mississippi River forming three of Wisconsin’s borders, plus 15,000 lakes within the state’s boundaries, Wisconsin has made the most of its unique geography to build core 5608_Water-Tech-Map_02161industry strengths that draw upon abundant fresh water. And tapping this precious natural resource to create commercial activity and improve the lives of our citizens, we’ve also learned to treat it with the respect it deserves. When it comes to using water in a sustainable manner, Wisconsin possesses world-leading knowledge based on a long history of innovation.

The concentration of global water industry leaders and the presence of The Water Council in Wisconsin have bolstered a reputation for the state as an authority on water technology advancements. Milwaukee is one of only two North American cities in the elite list of 13 worldwide United Nations Global Compact Innovating Cities (UNGCCP) and the only one in the world focused on the full cycle of water.


>>Forbes article on Milwaukee’s globally recognized success as a water technology Mecca
>>Read about The Water Council’s U.S. Small Business Administration’s innovation cluster grant.
>>Learn more about The Water Council’s JPMorgan Chase & Co. grant.

With the support of public-private partnerships, including The BREW (Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin.), water technology startups are addressing global freshwater challenges.


In Wisconsin®, academic institutions and industry partners are offering unique programs to create a water technology workforce to meet the demands of the growing water technology sector, including:

  • the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences—the nation’s only graduate school dedicated solely to freshwater research—plus, Wisconsin offers 36 water-focused academic programs on 17 campuses throughout the state;
  • the International Water Technology Center, a collaboration organization that pursues per-competitive research that will benefit the water industry; and
  • the UW System/Water Council Partnership, a collaboration that taps the strengths of five UW campuses to integrate STEM education and create new approaches to the sustainable use of water systems.