College of Business and Economics

The Institute for Water Business

As the world's clean freshwater resources become more scarce, business organizations must prepare for the risks posed by growing competition for clean water, the threat of water contamination, and rising water-related costs.  The Institute for Water Business at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is the first of its kind in the United States, created for the purpose of developing water business acumen and capacity through education, research, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.   

A place for transdisciplinary action learning, research, and outreach, the Institute for Water Business seeks to engageeducate, and empower stakeholders to identify and successfully respond to regional, national, and international water business issues, challenges, and opportunities. 
The Institute aims to:

  • Educate individuals and organizations about emerging water business issues through symposia, conferences, courses, and academic programs
  • Develop and support strong alliances between students, faculty, businesses, governments, and civil society groups, offering mutually beneficial opportunities for scholarly and applied research, internships, and post-graduation employment
  • Provide real and virtual spaces in which individuals and organizations can exchange information, engage in dialogue, meet and collaborate to address freshwater challenges and opportunities  

*Above: Students interact with a water industry professional from Veolia Water.

Todd Ambs

Todd Ambs is the new director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. Ambs previously served as president of the national conservation group River Network, a job he assumed after serving as chief of the water division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows is currently the President of Redspider LLC a business consultancy firm which provides business development and expansion strategies. He is also an Executive in Residence at Nanjing University in China where he teaches a Graduate course on International Business Strategy. Previously, Burrows served as the CEO of the International Division of Anheuser Busch.

Neil Coles

Professor Neil Coles is the Director at Centre for Ecohydrology in Perth Australia. He brings twenty-five years experience in the mining and agricultural water resources sector to the Centre for Excellence in Ecohydrology.

Angela James

Angela James is an attorney at Michael Best & Friedrich where she counsels businesses on environmental compliance strategies in the manufacturing, agricultural and energy sectors. She represents clients on matters related to air and water permitting, water quality trading, utility ratemaking and energy regulation.

Jenny Kehl

Jenny Kehl is the Endowed Chair for Water Policy and the director of the Center for Water Policy in the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

Paul Kent

Paul Kent is an attorney-partner at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP. His practice focuses on environmental regulatory matters with a particular emphasis on water issues. He represents municipalities on wastewater, storm water, water supply, mining, energy and other environmental issues.

Owen McIntyre

Dr. Owen McIntyre is a Senior Lecturer specializing in Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University College Cork Ireland. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of Irish and international journals and is currently involved in a number of research projects funded by the HEA and the EPA.

Rich Meeusen

Richard A. (Rich) Meeusen is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter, Inc., a Milwaukee-based company that is a leading manufacturer and marketer of flow measurement solutions, with a primary focus on the water industry. Meeusen co-founded the Milwaukee Water Council in 2007 and currently co-chairs the organization's board 

Edwin Piñero

Edwin Piñero was appointed chief sustainability officer for Veolia Water North America in 2010; Mr. Piñero leads Veolia Water's sustainability efforts in North America. He works to support programs at company operations as well as develop and implement sustainable programs and services for Veolia Water's clients.

Integrated Science/Business BBA Major - Water Emphasis

UW-Whitewater offers an opportunity to enroll in a unique major that combines the excitement of science with business management expertise, giving students the skills needed to contribute to Wisconsin's leadership in the business and science of water. Students can complete the integrated science/business major through either the College of Business and Economics or the College of Letters and Sciences. Seniors will complete an independent research project with the personal attention of faculty mentors from both science and business, and will participate in an internship to apply classroom knowledge in a real world context. Information on the requirements specific to the Integrated Science and Business Major with Water Emphasis can be found in the Course Catalog.

Water Business Minor

The Water Business Minor offers business students the tools to gather and synthesize information from several disciplines, to formulate socially, ecologically and economically rational alternatives to water quality, quantity and availability issues, and to implement effectively a wide variety of water-based programs and initiatives. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students pursuing careers in water technology businesses, public and private organizations that manage water and land resources, private consulting companies that offer water management services, agencies that form or implement water-related policies, new ventures providing products and services pertaining to water and non-profit institutions that are interested in water resources. Information on the requirements specific to the Water Business Minor can be found in the Course Catalog.

The Institute for Water Business at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

College of Business and Economics
Hyland Hall, Room 4302A
800 W. Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
(262) 472-5584

Global Water Center
247 w. Freshwater Way, Suite 527
Milwaukee, WI 53204
(414) 988-8644

The Whitewater Water Council is a student organization launched in 2010. We work to create awareness of the importance of freshwater to our lives and economies and assist our parent organization, the Water Council, to advance southeastern Wisconsin's position as a world hub for water research, education, and economic development.

The Whitewater Water Council welcomes members of every major and interest throughout the University.  We explore regional and national water issues and promote the vast opportunities in water business.  Activities include bi-weekly meetings with industry experts, networking events, community service, and social outings.