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Mayor Johnson at the U.S. Water Alliance One Water Summit

EPA Officials with Mayor Johnson at One Water Summit

One Water Milwaukee Meeting

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Water is essential for human life. With continued population growth and globalization, pressure on our limited water supplies is growing. 

Sustainable supplies of clean drinking water are essential for cities and leadership is needed to make this possible.

Milwaukee's Leadership

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


World Water Cities Cooperation 

Mayor Kwon Young-jin of Daegu Metropolitan City and Amy Jensen of The Water Council signing the Sister City Agreement.

At the World Water Cities Forum in 2017, The Water Council signed an agreement with representatives of 10 global cities to ensure more stable supplies of water resources throughout the world.

​​​​​​ASEAN WiSE Smart Cities

The Water Council members with partners from Cebu, Philippines at the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department Facilities

The Water Council is involved in the U.S. Water Alliance and U.S. State Department's ASEAN WiSE Smart Cities engagement through a Milwaukee-Phuket, Thailand relationship to strengthen Southeast Asian water security.

ChuZhou City Partnership

A traditional handshake between the delegation and Water Council

In 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with ChuZhou Municipal Government, China-US Spongy City Research Institute, and others to support the development of a water research center in ChuZhou.

The Principle in Action

We need leaders at all levels of government, business, and the community that understand the importance of water and advocate for smart water policy and stewardship that balances the needs of today with a sustainable future for our children.


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). Mayor Johnson serves as Co-Chair of the GLSCI Mayors Commission on Water Equity alongside Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. The Commission on Water Equity seeks to keep water equity on the policy agenda in the United States and promote the equitable implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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. Founded in 2003, GLSCI has more than 175 member municipalities.

Mayor Johnson Speaking at Hearing on Water Equity

In September 2022, Mayor Johnson hosted a Water Equity Field Hearing at the U.S. Water Alliance's national One Water Summit in Milwaukee alongside 11 mayors from other Midwest cities, Environmental Protection Agency representatives, and state officials. Read the mayoral written testimonies or watch the full video of the hearing.



Work to Be Done

Water leadership is a continual process that occurs locally, nationally, and globally. Milwaukee's leaders continue to advance work to meet our shared goals, increase coastal resilience, improve water equity, and champion workforce development. Part of this leadership includes sharing research and practices with organizations globally.

One Water Summit Leaders

Water Leaders at the Milwaukee One Water Summit