Is Hydrologic Highway too much of a mouthful? Does Water Wonderland sound too much like a water park? How about the Aquatic Escarpment? And why speculate about what to call the Great Lakes Basin other than the Great Lakes Basin anyway?
My brain storming for a clever name was prompted by a report of a presentation yesterday at University of Wisconsin Parkside. The speaker at the Executive in Residence Series of the UW-P School of Business and Technology was Richard Meeusen, CEO of Badger Meter. Meeusen, commenting that Wisconsin is becoming a leader world wide in fresh water science, said that, "Wisconsin has the opportunity to be the Silicon Valley of water technology".
Meuseen is not alone in recognizing the role that Wisconsin has come to play in the water sciences. Last week Gary Wilson wrote an editorial for The Great Lakes Town Hall called “Milwaukee Rising?” Here’s an excerpt of what Wilson said:
The University of Wisconsin's Milwaukee campus is home to the Great Lakes Water Institute which bills itself as "the largest academic freshwater research facility on the Great Lakes." Research and education are its prime focus, both critical disciplines in the water age.
The International Joint Commission, the U.S. and Canadian body that advises the two governments on boundary water issues, just cited Milwaukee (and Toronto) as a "success story" for its wastewater management and acknowledged its "well-designed and long-term plans."
Milwaukee's daily newspaper, the Journal-Sentinel, has dedicated significant resources to Great Lakes coverage. This in a difficult period where most papers are scaling back on environmental reporting.
You can read the entire editorial and the comments it prompted on the Town Hall website. I would have included a note about the exhibits at Milwaukee’s newest museum, Discovery World, which make learning about water fun. I would also have cited Governors Doyle’s proposal to allocate for establishment of a School of Freshwater Science at UW-M. $240M.
Fortune for all, it’s not just in Wisconsin that water issues are finally taking a front seat. It’s happening all over the Great Lakes, and although I would like to see Wisconsin prosper from water technology, the truth is that the more Great Lakes cities and states involved in the effort, the more the effort will succeed. Maybe my old hometown, Buffalo, could reap some benefit. From what I hear, they could really use it.
If you can think of catchy name for our area, which can summarize in a slogan the high-tech efforts in freshwater science, let me know. But whatever that name is, it certainly is better than The Rust Belt, our previous title. How about Aqua Fresh? Oops, I think that is already taken by a toothpaste. Sorry.