Project Milwakee

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee experienced the largest outbreak of cryptosporidium in the spring of 1993.

The outbreak made 400,000 sick. Over 4,000 were hospitalized. And 104 deaths were recorded. It made a lasting impression for many who got sick or simply lived through it.

Lauren Sigfusson

WUWM has been diving into the topic of clean water, or the lack thereof, in southeastern Wisconsin for our Project Milwaukee Series: Great Lakes, Troubled Waters.

Problems like runoff, lead, and even the policies created around water can seem too big to tackle. But work is being done to make an impact to ensure a future with clean water.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Both cryptosporidium and lead have threatened Milwaukee’s clean drinking water. While there are stark differences in the two water contaminants, what can we learn from how the city dealt with both?

First, it’s important to state that cryptosporidium and lead are completely different.

Crypto is a bacteria. Lead is a metal. Crypto has one parasitic source, while lead has many (paint, dust, dirt, pipes). Crypto makes people visibly sick, but lead can be in the body for a long time without showing any side effects.

Emily Files

In Milwaukee, more than 10% of children test positive for dangerous lead levels in their blood.

Health experts say the most common culprit is lead paint in old homes. But water that travels through lead pipes also poses some risk. Lead lateral pipes connect at least 70,000 older homes in Milwaukee to the city's water mains.

rh2010 / stock.adobe.com

The issue of lead in drinking water isn’t limited to low income neighborhoods around Milwaukee. The housing stock and the water infrastructure in many city and suburban neighborhoods is old — and lead laterals serve modest houses and sprawling mansions alike.  

Susan Bence

We all know water is fundamental to our lives, and to all livings things. But do you ever stop and think about the water you have access to, and if it is actually clean?

It depends on your perspective, says John Luczaj, head of UW-Green Bay’s geosciences program.

» See More Project Milwaukee: Great Lakes, Troubled Waters Stories

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Susan Bence

With our proximity to Lake Michigan and world-class water research, why don't we have clean water?

WUWM is diving into the topic of clean water, or the lack there of, in southeastern Wisconsin for our Project Milwaukee Series: Great Lakes, Troubled Waters.

Jim Moy for Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers

Segregation can impact a person's body, mind and health. Not everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy in a city like Milwaukee.

Dr. Julie Schuller says the lack of access to quality healthcare and environmental factors inhibit segregated African-American and Latino populations from living healthy lifestyles.

Louisa Thomson / Flickr

Segregation is connected to issues ranging from education to housing to health. So, it’s no coincidence that evictions disproportionately affects certain neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Writer and researcher Matthew Desmond chronicled the issue of eviction and its impact in Milwaukee last year in the landmark book, Evicted.

LISTEN: 'Evicted' Book Paints a Heartbreaking Picture of a Milwaukee Under Stress

Rachel Morello

Metro Milwaukee has a segregation problem -- not least, within area schools. Over time, racial lines have been created here, dividing the area into distinct black, white and Latino neighborhoods. 

Peter Kim / Fotolia

In our Project Milwaukee: Innovation: How Do We Compete? series, we’ve been exploring the challenges that innovation faces in Wisconsin. 

In 2007, film industry supporters and filmmakers were able to take advantage of a tax credit program designed to lure filmmakers to the state of Wisconsin. The program offered tax credits of 25 percent for production spending and 15 percent for infrastructure.

scaleupmilwaukee.org

One deterrent to would-be new businesses is the fear of not being prepared in the beginning stages before the company has even made a name for itself.  Scale Up Milwaukee is one local organization working to aid entrepreneurs and innovators at the early stages of their business plan. Its "Scalerator" program is a six-month, seven-session training program that aims to teach business owners how to inject growth into their ventures.

PDS

Local colleges and universities are key players in developing the talent start-up and existing businesses are looking for. Still, the region has some way to go before all of the top talent is homegrown.

Rachel Morello

If anything has become clear during WUWM's week of coverage on innovation, it’s this: Milwaukee needs creative minds.

School can be the first place to open and shape those minds, yet with everything else classrooms aim to teach these days, where do creativity and innovation fall on the priority list?

When we think of the word “creativity,” things like music and art might come to mind. But the definition of “creativity” is much broader than craft. In today’s world, it’s about ideas.

S Bence

Historically, water was key to Milwaukee’s booming innovative and industrial successes. Now there’s a concerted push to position Milwaukee as a water technology hub.

Hensley Foster is part of the action. His career as an industrial engineer stretched across four decades, but he says when it ended, his creative juices were far from tapped out.

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