Water Council head says innovation key to water scarcity challenges

  • 11.08.2022
  • WIS Business

Water Council President and CEO Dean Amhaus says technological innovation is needed to address national and global water scarcity.

Speaking yesterday to members of the Milwaukee Rotary Club, Amhaus highlighted a number of lakes and other freshwater reservoirs around the world that have shrunk dramatically in recent decades.

“In June 2020, the governor of Utah put out a message to his citizens in Utah and said, ‘we need to pray for rain,’” he said. “A year ago, farmers in Arizona were hoping that it might rain. We have to do much, much more than hope and prayer.”

He noted Wisconsin is “very, very fortunate” to be located so near the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes collectively hold more than 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, according to the EPA.

But Amhaus argued “we have to not take this for granted,” explaining that two freshwater aquifers in the western part of the United States are “starting to dry up.” That’s of particular concern as about 20 percent of the world’s grain crop, 40 percent of U.S. beef production and 40 percent of vegetable, nuts and fruits consumed in the United States come from these areas.