The Water Council’s Pilot Program offers water technology innovators the opportunity to conduct in-field proof-of-concept testing at real-world demonstration sites. Field testing is a critical phase in the progression of new water solutions from the lab to practical application to commercialization.


Through the funding support of Wells Fargo, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), and Fund for Lake Michigan, the Pilot Program provides selected companies with:

  • Services to support the pilot process
  • Access and connections to a pilot site(s)
  • Funding to help validate new, cutting-edge products and move them from prototype to demonstration

Applicant to propose a funding amount in alignment with the technology demonstration and specific project needs but no project will be awarded over $75,000 total, and applicants are encouraged to demonstrate ‘matching’ resources (time, materials, etc.) that they will contribute to the total project costs.


For the Spring 2021 Pilot Program opportunity, our funders are looking for projects in the following areas:

  • Intelligent stormwater green infrastructure (i.e. cisterns, bioswales, green roofs, porous paving materials, etc.) – Robust, low-cost systems for monitoring the performance of green infrastructure (both capacity management and water quality improvement) or that create a web-based infrastructure that allows for the improved management of stormwater with green infrastructure systems and the integration thereof
  • Stormwater quality – Projects that enhance the ability to detect contaminants in stormwater and runoff, including agricultural runoff, innovate the ability for best management practices to better capture and treat stormwater and polluted runoff from both urban and rural environments, and identify beneficial reuse of reclaimed water will be deemed high priority
  • Stormwater quantity – Projects that achieve run-off control through delayed-release to the sewer system and area waterways, improve infiltration rates of green infrastructure and maximize bio-retention will also be deemed high priority. Novel design approaches for green infrastructure that maximize urban biodiversity, and tools/strategies for measuring urban biodiversity improvement will also be entertained.
  • Private Property Inflow and Infiltration – New approaches to leak detection, infrastructure inspection, and rehabilitation.
  • Plant process technology – Innovations for nutrient removal and recovery, beneficial reuse, renewable energy production, energy efficiency, cost reductions, novel sensing technology, PFAS removal, and other plant optimization technologies.
  • Other water technology applications not already listed – Limited funding is available for promising water-focused technologies not explicitly referenced above. These might include, for example, emerging technologies related to safe drinking water, water reuse and/or water efficiency, water use/optimization in manufacturing or industrial water treatment. The technology should address a need or opportunity relevant to the Milwaukee area or larger Great Lakes region.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact The Water Council before submitting an application.




  • March
  • April 25
  • mid-May
  • Following contracts, according to plan agreements

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