EPA chief sees need to address water challenges

    During a visit to Milwaukee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson said, "It’s hard to overstate the need for innovation in the face of today’s water challenges."
    Jackson, speaking at the Milwaukee Water Council’s Water Summit, said the council has "EPA support for everything you do."
    The challenge is figuring out new and creative solutions and getting funding and support to implement them, she said. When the EPA was founded in the 1970s, water problems such as pollution could be seen, smelled and even tasted, she said.
    "Years ago, we knew something was wrong when we could smell untreated sewage in our water or when we saw fish kills in our lakes and streams," she said at Discovery World on the Lake Michigan shore. "Today, water problems are tougher to dramatize. … Some of the problems are invisible. Some are tasteless or odorless chemicals that can damage our human health or – even harder to explain – ecosystems in a way that’s a little more pernicious, that comes in and starts destruction from the bottom up."
    For example, algae blooms in Florida’s waterways have devastated the state’s tourism industry and slashed property values, she said.
    Michael Carvan, director of the newly created master’s degree program in professional sciences at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences, was among attendees who echoed the need to stimulate new ideas before Milwaukee can realize its dream of becoming a "water industry hub."
    "I want to instill a sense of entrepreneurship in my students," he said. "For many of the students coming into the program, their first question is, ‘Who am I going to go work for?’ I’d like to get them thinking, ‘What can I do to make a contribution to this field?’"
    See more coverage of the Water Summit:
    – WisPolitics.com

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