Raising awareness, one drop at a time

“There is no substitute for water, and it is taken very much for granted.”

This is the thought that led Associate Professor of Finance & Business Law Linda Reid to become involved with the Milwaukee Water Council the past two years.

The Milwaukee Water Council is a non-profit organization that works toward developing talent, business and technologies that will fill a role in the global water sector.

After realizing the Milwaukee Water Council was looking for student involvement at the college level, Reid brought up the issue to graduate student Meghan Jensen.

“It came up in a conversation I had with Jensen and she just took it and ran,” Reid said. “She is incredibly remarkable.”

As a result, UW-Whitewater became the first university in the country to start a Water Council on its campus. Reid and Jensen worked together to start the group last August and it has been escalating since.

“This is such an important issue and it matters to everybody,” Jensen said. “You can’t have anything without water. There is a huge need for our generation to step up, conserve and be aware of these issues.”
The Water Council has been working closely with the Milwaukee Water Council, which has allowed the 25-member group to meet many professionals in the industry.

Pentair Inc. in Milwaukee sponsors the Water Council. Pentair Inc. focuses on the development and creation of water technologies.

“The water industry is creating a lot of job opportunities for the future because of how pressing the issue is,” Jensen said. “Many of the current employees are retiring in the next 10 years.”

The UW-Whitewater Water Council is very active in upcoming events such as Earth Week, Make-A-Difference Day and will co-sponsor the Water Lecture Series.

“We have a lot of fun, and we are doing something that is both enjoyable and important,” Jensen said. “Our main goal is educating ourselves and others about water and how it is important to everything we use, wear, eat and more.”

The Water Council will have a booth at the Hamilton Room on Thursday from noon to 3:30 p.m. along with other local businesses and organizations with a “blue” or “green” emphasis.

“There’s always going to be the same amount of water, [but] what matters is how we are cleaning it and putting it back in the system,” Jensen said. “That is what we are trying to get across to others.”

“Water is necessary to life,” Reid said. “Most people are unaware of the issues that exist and how imminent they are.”