charting a vision for american cities

A Research Conference addressing the challenges facing water and urbanization in the 21st century.

There are multiple interlinked challenges facing water and urbanization in the coming century. Water resource security is threatened by a changing climate with floods, drought and changing water quality, opportunistic pathogens and invasive species and loss of aquatic biodiversity.

Delivery of water to industry, the community and agriculture is compromised by aging and inadequate infrastructure with energy production being closely interlinked. For freshwater, dealing with the trifecta of resource scarcity and excess, aging infrastructure and climate change is estimated to be a $23 trillion challenge globally over the next 15 to 20 years.

Urban areas are at the epicenter of many of these challenges as demographics shift, spurring urban expansion and accelerating demands on existing urban infrastructure. This has focused attention on heightened vulnerabilities of urban freshwater systems and urban populations that are exacerbated by uncertainties in the magnitude, if not the direction, of future change.

This conference will highlight new research that addresses the issues of Emerging Threats, Critical Infrastructures and Evolving Policies surrounding the availability of freshwater.

Plenary Speaker

Seth M. Siegel

Daniel M. Soref Senior Water Policy Fellow

Center for Water Policy, School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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Check back soon for more speakers

Plan Your Visit

Conference Site

Hilton Milwaukee City Center

509 W Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Book Your Room

Open House, 10/18

UWM School of Freshwater Sciences

Great Lakes Research Facility
600 E Greenfield Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53204

Seth M. Siegel is a writer, lawyer, activist, and serial entrepreneur. Seth is the author of the New York Times bestseller Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World. His essays on water and other issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and in leading publications in Europe and Asia. Seth is a Senior Advisor to Start Up Nation Central, an Israeli non-profit that connects government, NGO and business leaders to the relevant people, companies and technologies in Israel.

Seth has spoken on water issues around the world and at venues in more than 40 US cities, including the United Nations, World Bank, Davos, Google’s headquarters, and at more than a dozen major college campuses, including Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale and Stanford University. Foreign editions of Let There Be Water are now in production in ten countries including China, Japan, Vietnam and the Czech Republic.

Seth is the co-founder of several companies, including Beanstalk, the world’s leading trademark brand extension company, which he sold to Ford Motor Company. He was also a Producer of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha. Seth sits on the board of several not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

All of the profits from sales of Let There Be Water are being donated to charity.

For more information, visit You can connect with Seth on Twitter @SethMSiegel.