News & Media

Pumping Mississippi River Water West: Pipe Dream or Solution? Director Melissa Scanlan featured in The Gazette, February 1, 2023 February 2023

Director of the Center for Water Policy, Melissa Scanlan, was featured in The Gazette to discuss the legal, economic and political feasibility of diverting water from the Mississippi River to the arid West as water scarcity becomes more severe. Scanlan urges “realistic solutions” – those most readily deployable now focus on demand management, such as water conservation.

Follow the link to read the full article.

Environmental Law Section Blog: Analyzing the Impact of Wisconsin’s Phosphorus Rules on Water Quality, January 23, 2023 January 2023

New analysis from the Center for Water Policy’s Water Policy Specialist Anya Janssen on the impact of numeric standards in Wisconsin’s phosphorus rules was recently featured in the January 2023 Environmental Law Section blog published by the State Bar of Wisconsin. Follow the link here to read the full article.

Center for Water Policy Seeks Candidates for Fellowship, January 19, 2023 January 2023

The Center for Water Policy is seeking a candidate for a two-year funded Water Policy and Science Communications Graduate Student Research Fellowship, while earning a master’s degree from the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Please share with your professional networks.

To be considered for the Fellowship, the student must be admitted to the water policy Thesis track in our master’s degree program. Click here for information on how to apply for the master’s degree program. Applicants should indicate interest in this Fellowship on their personal statement. Fall semester 2023 admission deadline for this position has been extended to January 23, 2023.

The Research Fellowship will begin in Fall 2023 and run through Spring 2025. The successful candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public policy, economics, environmental science, engineering or a related field and should be interested in conducting graduate research toward a thesis focused on water policy and science communications. The Research Fellowship represents a unique opportunity for a student who wants to explore the intersection between water policy, science, and communications.

The Research Fellow will be enrolled in the water policy Thesis track master’s degree at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences and employed as a research assistant in the Center for Water Policy, conducting original research around the topics of water policy, science and communication. The specific topic of the student’s work will be determined by the student, in consultation with Center for Water Policy director Melissa Scanlan. Professor Scanlan will supervise the student work and serve as the student’s advisor. The work performed by the student will culminate in a thesis that will be defended before graduation. The student may have an opportunity to work with Dan Egan, Brico Fund Journalist in Residence and author of Death and Life of the Great Lakes and The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance.

The Center for Water Policy is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their research. Qualified women and members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Scanlan to Discuss Climate Disruption with Organic Farmers from the Central Plains to the Rocky Mountains on January 12, 2023 January 2023

Director of the Center for Water Policy and author of Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy: Cooperatives and the Design of Sustainable Businesses will be discussing her book with organic farmers. The Central Plains Organic Farmers invited her to meet with a coalition of organic farmers to wrestle with climate disruption and future actions farmers can take towards cooperative development and addressing climate change. The conversation will be forward looking in defining the role of agriculture and the cooperative model in food security and social empowerment.

Wisconsin Lawyer: Federal Funding and Wisconsin’s Water Infrastructure, December 14, 2022 December 2022

Research from the Center for Water Policy on directing federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to disadvantaged communities was featured in the December 2022 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer.

Follow the link here to read the full article.

Phosphorus Conference Registration Now Open! November 1, 2022 November 2022

Registration for the 2023 Phosphorus Conference is now open!

This conference will take a look back on ten years of Wisconsin’s phosphorus rules – analyzing implementation, compliance, and impacts. This conference will connect researchers with water professionals, farmers, producers, policymakers, and the public. We aim to facilitate discussions around policy mechanisms that address the ongoing challenge of phosphorus pollution. The goal of this conference is to help inform a research agenda for the next decade and beyond.

New York Times best selling author Dan Egan will present the keynote address over lunch in conversation with Center for Water Policy Director Melissa Scanlan about his forthcoming book, The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance.

Join us in Madison on February, 7th, 2023 to learn about Wisconsin’s leading efforts to regulate and manage phosphorus! More information on the conference can be found here.

Register Now!

Director Scanlan to Speak About Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy at New Berlin Public Library, November 10, 2022 October 2022

Center for Water Policy Director, Melissa Scanlan will be giving a free and open to the public presentation hosted by Waukesha County Environmental Action League about her book Prosperity in the Fossil-Free Economy on Thursday, November 10th, 2022 at the New Berlin Public Library. Her talk will focus on environmental sustainability, consumer cooperatives, decarbonization, and renewable energy.

For more information, please visit or see the attached flyer below.

WEAL Save the Date

How to steer money for drinking water and sewer upgrades to the communities that need it most – The Conversation, October 10, 2022 October 2022

Water Policy Specialist Andrian Lee and Director Melissa Scanlan recently discussed their research on equitable access to safe drinking water and historic investments in water infrastructure with The Conversation.


Follow the link here for the full article.

Scanlan to Speak at Love Our Great Lakes Day on October 15, 2022 September 2022

Melissa Scanlan, Director of the Center for Water Policy and Professor at the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences, will be presenting on the public trust doctrine and how DNR water managers implement their public trust duties at the 2022 Love Our Great Lakes Day on Saturday, October 15th in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

For more information and to register for the event, please follow this link.

Center for Water Policy Welcomes Four New Staff, September 20, 2022 September 2022

The Center for Water Policy welcomes its second cohort of post-doctoral Water Policy Specialists through the UW Sea Grant Water Science-Policy Fellows Program, Andrian Lee and Anya Janssen. We are also pleased to announce Joe Bevington as our inaugural Water Policy and Science Communications Fellow and Halea Fields as our first undergraduate Social Media Manager.

“We’re really excited to expand our research capacity with Andrian and Anya joining the team while also increasing our ability to share important news and research coming from the Center through Joe and Halea’s social media communications,” said Melissa Scanlan, Director for the Center and the Lynde B. Uihlein Endowed Chair and Professor in Water Policy.

Over the next year, Andrian and Anya will produce original legal research and work with the Center’s external partners to analyze U.S. water issues to shape policy and inform decision makers. This Fellowship is intended to provide recent law school graduates critical experience in the field of academic research and water policy development.


Andrian received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University where she worked on projects in multiple developing countries, including a health and sanitation project in El Salvador through Engineers Without Borders.After working in the private sector for several years, Andrian returned to law school at Boston College where she graduated with her juris doctor. While at Boston College, she participated in several human rights cases. She was a trip leader for an International Human Rights pro-bono trip. She participated in the International Human Rights Practicum where students filed an amicus brief for a disability rights case before the Inter-American Human Rights Court. The brief was recently cited in the decision handed down from the Court. Andrian is excited to bring her training as a civil engineer and experience advocating for underserved communities to promote equitable access to water infrastructure.


Anya holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology & Social Justice from Northland College, in Ashland, Wisconsin. While there, she conducted an oral history on Native American environmental activism in northern Wisconsin with her late mentor, Joe Rose, Sr., an Ojibwe tribal elder, activist, and leader in the community. She took that passion for environmentalism and sustainability to the University of San Diego where she completed a dual-degree program to receive her master’s degree and juris doctor. There, she was a comment editor for the Journal of Climate and Energy Law and participated in an Energy Law and Policy Clinic where she gained critical experience in advocacy practice. At the Center, she will be coordinating a statewide conference on the implementation of Wisconsin’s phosphorus regulations. She will also be conducting research on Wisconsin’s phosphorus regulations.


Joe received his bachelor’s degrees from the UW-Madison in Conservation Biology and Geography. During his time at UW-Madison, he participated in multiple research projects in ecology labs including work on terrestrial and aquatic invasive species, paleoclimatology, and fish ecology. Following graduation, he worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a fisheries biologist where he gained critical experiences in policy, natural resource management, and public communication. He hopes to expand his knowledge of water policy and science communication through the newly created Master’s Thesis track in water policy, economics and management at the School of Freshwater Sciences, and utilize those skills to develop novel science communication strategies for the Center.


Halea is an undergraduate at UW-Milwaukee pursuing her degree in Geography with a minor in Conservation & Environmental Sciences. Growing up hiking and camping inspired her passion for the environment and conservation. Her passion and concern about environmental justice issues and climate change grew over time, which led her to want to better understand how these systems work and the important ecosystem services they provide. Through her position as the Center’s Social Media manager, she is eager to share important news and research about environmental justice, sustainability, and water policy. She’s also excited to learn more about how water policy is developed and how those decisions impact people.



Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date with all of the Center’s ongoing research and upcoming events!