water

There has been a lot of effort in the last decade to denote Milwaukee as a so-called “world water hub.” To date, many companies that research water and water-related technology have chosen to locate in the region, but the importance of water to the area is hardly new. 

Susan Bence

Forty-eight Lake Bluff Elementary School students spent much of their third grade year learning about stormwater. They had a handy model outside their door.

A grassy soccer field used to occupy the northeast corner of the school yard, but was recently transformed to tennis courts, in honor of the school's recently retired principal.

However, what was thought to be a loving and activity-inducing project came with environmental headaches. The school district realized it had to meet Wisconsin stormwater drainage requirements.

In a much-watched case, a Michigan agency has approved Nestlé's plan to boost the amount of water it takes from the state. The request attracted a record number of public comments — with 80,945 against and 75 in favor.

Fecal Microbes Found in 60 Percent of Sampled Wells in Kewaunee County

Jun 8, 2017
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Up to 60 percent of sampled wells in a Kewaunee County study contained fecal microbes, many of which are capable of making people and calves sick, two scientists told hundreds of local residents gathered at a public meeting Wednesday night.

The microorganisms included Cryptosporidium, a parasite that comes from both people and animals. Researchers estimated Crypto in drinking water is likely infecting 140 of the county’s 20,000 residents each year.

Susan Bence

Northeast Wisconsin's Kewaunee County is home to 16 large dairy operations. On those CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, are tens of thousands of cows, who produce lots of manure. Neighbors have become increasingly worried that, that manure is contaminating nearby wells.

Though the county hugs Lake Michigan, it’s what is underground that makes the area particularly vulnerable to manure ending up where you don't want it – in the water people drink.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Charles Fishman and Seth Siegel know a thing or two about water.

Fishman is author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. Siegel wrote Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World.

They were among the 200 people interested in water issues who spent two days in Milwaukee this week. The draw was The Water Council’s 10th annual summit at which security was the theme.

malajscy / Fotolia

Ten years ago, Milwaukee’s first water summit took place under little fanfare. At the time, there was no Water Council and no Global Water Center according to Dean Amhaus, Water Council president.

MMSD

Out of sight and out of mind is the typical dynamic when it comes to the pipes that bring us drinking water, or the system that takes storm and waste water out of our homes and neighborhoods.  But things change when there’s a crisis.

Silverleaf Geospatial © OpenStreetMap contributors, © CARTO

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a report Tuesday on states with the most drinking water violations. And, Wisconsin was on the list.

States were ranked most at risk from over 100 contaminants, including toxic chemicals, bacteria and metals such as lead. The data was drawn from EPA records collected throughout 2015.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

One of the startups selected for this year's The Water Council's BREW Accelerator program was on display last week outside the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District headquarters.

Menomonee River water was being sucked up into the CORNCOB demonstration model – picture a water heater tipped on its side. A gleaming metal barrel connected to pipes and valves is being monitored by a sophisticated computer system.

Susan Bence

For many, Thanksgiving launches a season of holiday cheer and perhaps more eating than usual.

Water advocates are seizing the opportunity to try to turn people’s attention to our local watershed. How much of that Thanksgiving residue will wind up in local waterways?

Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Urban Ecology Center and Carroll University are partnering in the project, along with the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences.

Susan Bence

Vanessa Tobin has a very specific professional niche. She is Senior Technical Adviser for Water Supply, Sanitation and Water Resources Development for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) based in Baltimore Maryland.

Before joining CRS in 2012, Tobin worked extensively in the field for the United Nations and other organizations in places such as South Sudan and Nepal. Most recently she served as UNICEF’s Chief of Water, Environment and Sanitation.

Bob Bach

The Milwaukee River basin is markedly cleaner than a few decades ago. The heavy industries that used to pour toxins into the water have closed or are now regulated, and the deep tunnel system has dramatically reduced storm water overflows into the river. But challenges remain.

Susan Bence

The Milwaukee County Parks system seems to swing between two extremes. On one hand, its green space creates a ring,  some compare to an exquisite emerald necklace. On the other, parks are crippled by deferred maintenance.

One example is Lake Park, where officials closed a 110-year-old footbridge because it is crumbling.

The fate of the bridge that spans a ravine, and a winding roadway below, will be the topic of a public information meeting this evening at Lake Park.

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