Excess Capacity 

Milwaukee’s water source is Lake Michigan, the sixth largest freshwater lake on earth. Unlike communities that depend on finite sources of groundwater, Milwaukee has excess capacity in its water supply. Water treated and used is returned to the lake.

Also, the Milwaukee Water Works has excess treatment capacity. For 2012, average daily pumpage was 101 million gallons. The utility could provide over 100 million additional gallons per day to customers and still maintain an adequate safety margin for emergencies.

The Milwaukee Water Works has seen a steady decline in water sold during the past four decades, the combination of more efficient water use and conservation, and changes in the industrial landscape. Residential consumers also are conserving and using high-efficiency appliances, using about 2% less water each year. Milwaukee water sold dropped from 58 billion gallons in 1976 to 32 billion gallons in 2012.

Milwaukee can put its supply and treatment capacity to work on behalf of businesses and industry that require the certainty of an abundant and reliable water supply.