The City of Milwaukee consistently strives to improve its status a
Water Centric City by applying the nine principles.
Gathering Place By The Water
Milwaukee is located on America’s Fresh Coast on the shores of Lake Michigan, with three rivers running throughout. Milwaukee has restored Bradford Beach, one of America’s top urban beaches. Milwaukee has also reclaimed its rivers with a Riverwalk and is reconnecting residents to the Harbor District with it's Take Me to the River Project. The Milwaukee Water Commons also hosts cultural events to celebrate water.
Milwaukee has centered its economic development strategy on water technology through The Water Council and the Global Water Center as the point of collaboration in the Water Technology District. Milwaukee is working with The Water Council to identify new district-scale water solutions. The Water Council offers the BREW (Business Research Entrepreneurship in Wisconsin) Accelerator along with a number of other programs to support water innovation. The BREW, launched in 2013, unleashes water innovation by funding water technology startups with commercialization potential.
The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District are national leaders in the adoption of green infrastructure. Milwaukee’s Green Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation page describes the City’s efforts in detail and Freshcoast740.com describes the regional goal of capturing 740 million gallons of rainwater annually through green infrastructure.
Sustainable Water Supply
The City of Milwaukee pulls and treats drinking water from Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. Wastewater is treated by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and returned to the Lake. The City of Milwaukee supports the Great Lakes Compact to limit diversion of water from the Great Lakes. The City of Milwaukee also has a “Use Water Wisely” campaign to reduce water use waste and other efforts to reduce water and energy waste.
Healthy Drinking Water
The Milwaukee Water Works is an award-winning national leader in providing high-quality drinking water, and is recognized in the national water community for its comprehensive water quality monitoring program and operations. Since 1996, the Milwaukee Water Works has treated its water with ortho-phosphate to reduce the risk of lead leaching from plumbing materials into water. This compound forms a protective coating inside pipes and is considered to be the best practice for the control of lead in drinking water. In 2017, the City of Milwaukee developed new support to help private property owners address leaking lead service lines.