Global Water Center

Marquette University in early 2016 became the final tenant to move into the Global Water Center on Freshwater Way in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. Today, on the building's sixth floor, Marquette researchers occupy approximately 8,000 of the seven-story facility's 100,000 square feet. Led by the Water Council, the Global Water Center houses water-related research facilities for universities, existing water-related companies and accelerator space for emerging companies.

Solving the world's water problems

At Marquette's grand opening event, President Michael R. Lovell said, "This building positions Milwaukee to be one of the international leaders in water technology and development. Our faculty and students are going to benefit immensely – the talents at our university are going to be helping to solve the world’s water problems.”

Marquette's first research and development cohort at the Global Water Center comprises several different project groups that span a variety of disciplines and focus areas, including wastewater treatment, rainwater harvesting, desalination, water law and policy, and public art. Many of the teams are cross-disciplinary and include students, and a number of projects are collaborations with researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as industry partners such as A.O. Smith and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District.

The Office of Research & Innovation is now accepting proposals for use of the Global Water Center space on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply here

A global water center lab

Explore Marquette's Global Water Center space by browsing photos and videos


In the News

Beyond Coworking: Homegrown Innovation Spaces Are Transforming Second Cities 
"Driven largely by corporate executives who recognized the city was home to a cluster of leading water-related companies, the Global Water Center has quickly established itself as a worldwide hub for startups, established companies and universities working to solve freshwater problems."

The Water Council Receives Leadership Award for Water Technology Innovation
The Water Council was named a winner of the 2019 Great Lakes Leadership Awards for Water Technology Innovation, which highlights water technology innovation that addresses current threats and anticipates future challenges to water quality in the Great Lakes. 

Artist at Haggerty Museum brings awareness to water sustainability in Milwaukee
“Watermarks: An Atlas of Water and the City of Milwaukee” is a recent initiative to engage and inform the people of Milwaukee about their reliance on water through the collaboration of art and science in a series of dispersed markers around Milwaukee and informational walks led by local artists and scientists.

Hero of the Week: Dr. Kyana Young
Learn more about how Dr. Young has made a difference in the lives of high school students interning at the Global Water Center through hands-on research and training. 

Stormwater collection system installed by new Athletic and Human Performance Research Center
“The system helps slow down the release of stormwater into the combined sewer system and ultimately reduces peak volumes that helps to conserve valuable storage volume in the Deep Tunnel system.”

New Report Finds Milwaukee's Water Technology Cluster Spurs Innovation and Replenishes Regional Economy
Read about how the Global Water Center is helping to improve Milwaukee and beyond. 

The Haggerty Museum’s WaterMarks project
The Haggerty’s Museum of Art’s “WaterMarks” program is a public art project developed artist Mary Miss and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The goal of the project is to bring awareness of issues related to water sustainability through a collaboration of art and science.


Global Water Center Now Accepting Proposals 
Rolling Basis
Apply now to use Marquette's Global Water Center space for your own water-related research. 

Water Leaders Summit 2019
June 26 – 27 | Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA
The Water Council’s Water Leaders Summit is an annual water industry conference that brings together water business leaders, governmental entities, academics, entrepreneurs and futurists from around the world for curated conversations about vital current global water challenges and the future of water innovation.