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Not too long ago, Milwaukee was thought of as a beer town. After all, the city was home to four large breweries, and they used plenty of water. So did other industries that took root here, such as tanneries. Milwaukee was perfect, sitting in around one-fifth of the world’s fresh water supply. All the related companies that developed are now prompting Milwaukee to forge ahead with a plan to become a global water hub. In this installment of our Project Milwaukee series, The Currency of Water, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis introduces us to some of the players. It’s a little after four on a weekday afternoon and second shifters at Badger Meter are busy.

Milwaukee-born writer and historian John Gurda is a regular Lake Effect contributor. He’s the author of nineteen books, including The Making of Milwaukee, and his latest, One People, Many Paths: A History of Jewish Milwaukee. Our interview on Milwaukee’s water history is part of our series, Project Milwaukee: The Currency of Water.

Today, WUWM begins a week-long series called “Project Milwaukee: The Currency of Water.”

We will explore southeastern Wisconsin’s prospects of becoming an international hub for water technology.

WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence starts with a look at the history of water use in Milwaukee and what’s contributing to the water hub dream.

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