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10/05/17 11:13:am


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Funding Available for Water-Related Pilot and Demonstration Sites

Now accepting applications to bring working prototypes to pilot sites in Wisconsin to advance water innovation

Milwaukee, WI – Oct 1, 2017 – The Water Council today announced that it is accepting applications for the third round of the Pilot Program, which is designed to transfer research and prototypes from the lab, to application in a demonstration site located in Wisconsin.

The Program supports water-related businesses of all sizes, from all parts of the world, by acting as a launch pad to validate and commercialize products that are near market introduction. Developed and run by The Water Council, the program is supported by the Fund for Lake Michigan, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) and Wells Fargo.

"We're thrilled to partner with Wells Fargo, MMSD and The Water Council to support game-changing technologies that address our most urgent water quality challenges," said Vicki Elkin, executive director of the Fund for Lake Michigan. “As we have seen with recent water problems in Flint and historic flooding in Houston, these challenges require new approaches and cutting-edge technologies."
“With infrastructure as a top priority for the U.S. federal government, coupled with the amount of time it takes for a water tech product to work its way from concept to market-ready, means it’s crucial to provide as much support as we can right now to help businesses test, refine and validate their products,” said Dean Amhaus, president and CEO of The Water Council. “We’re pleased to work with our partners to support businesses that provide solutions for infrastructure and innovation needs.”

The success of the program in its first two years has led to another commitment from Wells Fargo of $400,000 over four years. 

“Wells Fargo is honored to support The Water Council through our Clean Technology and Innovation grant program,” said Mary Wenzel, head of environmental affairs at Wells Fargo. “The Council’s platform for gathering technical data in order to scale and commercialize technologies will provide much needed enhancements to our water infrastructure and fills a critical gap in the clean-tech ecosystem.”

Selected projects must address integrated water solutions through innovation, application, and demonstration while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable and deployable model. The Program acts as a catalyst for companies and professionals who are developing new products that deliver significant water quality and/or quantity improvements. 

“There will always be better, more cost effective ways to protect public health and our rivers and lakes through clean water innovations. We fully support these local efforts that harness the potential to benefit the world,” said Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.


Applications are being sought for the following areas of emphasis:

•    Intelligent storm water green infrastructure (i.e. cisterns, bioswales, green roofs, porous paving materials, etc.) – projects that create web-based infrastructure that allow for the active management of storm water with green infrastructure systems and the integration thereof

•    Storm water quality – projects that enhance the ability to detect contaminants in storm water and runoff, innovate the ability for best management practices to better capture and treat storm water and polluted runoff from both urban and rural environments, and identify beneficial reuse of reclaimed water will be deemed high priority

•    Storm water quantity – projects that achieve run-off control through delayed release to the sewer system and area waterways, improve infiltration rates of green infrastructure, and maximize bio-retention will also be deemed high priority

•    Plant process technology – innovations for nutrient removal, energy production and cost reductions and other plant optimization technologies

•    Other water technology applications not already listed – projects can address other water-focused technologies for demonstration in southeast Wisconsin

Businesses interested in applying must meet the following criteria: 

•    Have an established water-related product that meets at least one of the five areas of emphasis

•    Be a member of The Water Council; membership is open to any organization focused on water or interested in being part of the water leadership network

Interested businesses should apply online by completing the program application at The application portal is currently open, and the deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. CT on November 11.

All entries will be reviewed by a panel of the Fund, Wells Fargo, MMSD and The Water Council senior staff, and subject matter experts in the area of water innovation. Recipients will be notified by the end of December and the Pilot Program begins in early 2018. One or more applications will be funded and further details will be provided to selected participants. 

To learn more about past recipients of Pilot Program funding from The Water Council, visit 


About the Pilot Program
Through the support of a Wells Fargo Clean Technology & Innovation grant, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Fund for Lake Michigan, The Water Council launched the Pilot Program to support the progression of new water technologies from the lab to real world demonstration sites for practical application. The Pilot Program provides support and funding to help develop and validate new, cutting-edge products from prototype to small-scale production and manufacturing. Selected projects must address integrated water solutions through innovation, application and demonstration while maintaining a cost-efficient, scalable and deployable model. The Water Council’s Pilot Program is able to accelerate the deployment of technologies needed to solve problems, create new business and improve water quality on a regional and global scale.

About The Water Council
Headquartered in the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, next to the world’s largest freshwater system, The Water Council is a non-profit organization that drives economic, technology and talent development to support the global water industry. As the leading U.S. cluster, and one of the most powerful water technology hubs in the world, the organization convenes global water leaders and supports more than 190 members from small and mid-sized businesses and large global corporations to engineers, entrepreneurs, utilities, government agencies, education programs and non-profits, with valuable services, programming and networking opportunities. Established as a 501(c)(3) in 2009, the driving force behind its success is the vibrant spirit of collaboration between public, private and academic sectors with a strong, shared commitment to finding innovative solutions to critical global water challenges. For more information, visit