Skip to Content
Main Content

Freshwater only accounts for 2% of the world’s water. The Great Lakes contain over 20% of the global supply of fresh water, and 84% of North America's surface fresh water. Milwaukee’s unique geographical location has inspired its leaders to celebrate and protect this priceless natural resource.


The City of Milwaukee is establishing itself as a Water Centric City through its water leadership. Working with many diverse partners, the City has prioritized projects to enhance all aspects of water in the City of Milwaukee and surrounding region.

City of Milwaukee agencies play a leading role in providing healthy drinking water, managing storm water, and enhancing our water assets. The City and our partners collaborate with other units of government, business, academic institutions, and civic organizations to reach our shared Water Centric City goals.

People meeting in the Global Water Center

Leadership Team

- Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson

- Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewarage District

- Dean Amhaus, President & CEO, The Water Council

- Melissa Scanlan, Director of the Center for Water Policy, UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences

- Erick Shambarger, Director, City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office

- Milwaukee Water Works

The Water Council Leadership



Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative 

Mayor Cavalier Johnson represents the City of Milwaukee as a member and director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiatives (GLSCI). The GLSCI is a coalition of mayors from the U.S. and Canada working together to protect and restore the Great-Lakes St. Lawrence Basin, which provides drinking water for 40 million people and contains 21% of the Earth's surface freshwater. 

Members of the Great Lake Saint Lawrence Seaway Initiative Standing by a Map of the Great Lakes

Cities across the world are taking steps to become Water Centric Cities

- United Nations Global Compact Water Innovating City

- World Water Cities Forum 2017 World Water Cities Cooperation Declaration

- Daegu, South Korea

- Montpellier, France

- Fryslan, Netherlands

- Orange County, CA, USA

- Jakarta, Indonesia

- Taipei, Taiwan

- Yixing, China

- Milwaukee, WI

- Yokohama, Japan

- Water Partnership between the City of Milwaukee and Chuzhou City, China

The International Water Association's Principles for Water-Wise Cities