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Freshwater for Business and Industry

Milwaukee's abundant, reliable, high quality supply of water provided at a low cost, helps water-intensive and water technology business and research perform competitively and profitably in the Milwaukee area. Fresh water is Milwaukee’s competitive advantage.

Freshwater Advantages

The Milwaukee Water Works encourages water-intensive business and water technology firms to expand or locate in the Milwaukee service region. The addition of customers spreads operational costs over a larger rate base, enabling the utility to keep water costs down. And, the vitality of industry in the area benefits the regional economy.

A key advantage is the Declining Block Rate which provides a lower cost per unit of water as water usage increases.


Water Rate Discount for Business

The Milwaukee Water Works provides a Declining Block Rate (DBR) in which cost per unit of water decreases with increased water usage. This is an advantage for commercial customers who use more than 1,667 Ccf per month (approximately 1,247,000 gallons/month).

Mayor Tom Barrett delivers City of Milwaukee collaboration to encourage water research and business development through the Water Council. The Milwaukee Water Works is a founding sponsor of FaB Wisconsin, a regional food and beverage industry cluster network.

Water is the critical factor for manufacturers, food processing companies, brewers and bottlers, researchers, and the medical community. Across the country, wet industry faces dwindling water resources due to multi-year droughts, depletion of groundwater, restrictive water quality regulations, and overpopulation of arid lands. Increasing demand for water and sewage treatment means higher operating costs for business. The Milwaukee area offers abundant water supply and sewage treatment capacity. The Milwaukee Water Works provides a freshwater advantage for business. Read more in the topics below:

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Abundant Treatment Capacity

Milwaukee’s water source is Lake Michigan, the sixth largest freshwater lake on earth. Unlike communities that depend on finite sources of groundwater, Milwaukee has excess capacity in its water supply. Water treated and used is returned to the lake.

Ultra Competitve Rates

Milwaukee offers low cost water and high quality customer service.

Superior Water Quality Controls

Milwaukee is a national leader in producing high quality water and water quality monitoring. The City of Milwaukee has made major investments in water quality monitoring and water treatment infrastructure since the 1990s.

Abundant, High Quality Water is Conducive to Water-Intensive Industry Use

The Milwaukee Water Works provides commercial and industrial customers with a reliable, renewable, and low cost supply of high-quality water not available everywhere in the United States. A declining block rate provides a further price advantage. This high-quality water service contributes to the competitive and profitable performance of water and water technology businesses which generate family-supporting jobs.

Regional Availability of MWW Water

With a service area of 196 square miles, the Milwaukee Water Works’ community customers include Milwaukee, Brown Deer, Butler, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Menomonee Falls, Mequon, New Berlin, Shorewood, St. Francis, Thiensville, Wauwatosa, West Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee County Grounds.

Excellent Customer Service

MWW provides a conscientious partnership with business and industrial customers. The Water Quality Manager is available during business hours while the Milwaukee Water Works' 24-hour Control Center covers after-hours concerns and emergencies.

Security Conscious to Ensure Service

To ensure continuous water service, considerable, ongoing efforts have been undertaken to improve the physical, cyber, and procedural security of MWW water plants and other infrastructure. Periodic emergency response exercises ensure the integrity of the utility's disaster response plan.

Continuous Improvement and Use of Best Practices

The Milwaukee Water Works has adopted a strategy to operate as efficiently as possible and hold down operational costs.

Diligent Infrastructure Maintenance

The Milwaukee Water Works Capital Improvements Program provides for long term improvements to utility infrastructure to ensure a reliable supply of high quality drinking water. The capital budget is based on long-term planning to replace or upgrade existing infrastructure, and to install new infrastructure as needed.

Water Marketing Specialist

Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway, Room 409
Milwaukee, WI 53202

(414) 286-2803
E-mail Water Marketing Specialist

Contact our economic development partners for additional resources:

Milwaukee Department of City Development

(414) 286-5800

Milwaukee Economic Development Corp.

(414) 286-5840

MILWAUKEE 7 Regional Economic Development Partnership


Development Partnership

(866) 596-6463 or (414) 287-4126

FaB Milwaukee Network

The Water Council

(414) 828-3817

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