Water Affordability in Milwaukee

River with buildings in background in Milwaukee, WI

In partnership with the Water Center at Penn, our Water Affordability Community of Practice (COP) spotlights best practices on challenges and solutions related to water affordability, providing ample time for questions and informal discussion among peers. We invite local utility and city leaders that are striving to provide access to safe and affordable drinking and waste water to attend. Learn more about our water affordability program here.

Water Affordability Community of Practice

In partnership with:



Featuring Kevin Schafer
Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

Thursday, June 17, 1pm CST/2pm EST


In the last 35 years, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has transformed its approach to water, with a focus on cleaning up local rivers and preserving Lake Michigan. MMSD’s 2035 Vision is their forward-looking plan that envisions a healthier Milwaukee region by attaining zero overflows, zero basement backups, and improved storm water management. MMSD will also be a model in its management of climate change impacts through an aggressive program to convert to renewable fuels, install green infrastructure, and preserve floodplains. Mr. Shafer will join us to share how they are balancing their bold plans while also keeping rates affordable for low-income residents.

Kevin Shafer serves as Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD). MMSD is a regional government agency that provides water reclamation and flood management services for more than 1.1 million customers in 28 communities in the Greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. The District serves 411 square miles that cover all, or segments of, six watersheds. Established by state law, the District is governed by 11 commissioners with taxing authority. Since assuming this role, Kevin has transformed the MMSD into one of the leading wastewater utilities in the country through the integration of green infrastructure with traditional infrastructure. Kevin’s leadership has brought MMSD recognition as the recipient of almost every major award in the industry, including the 2012 U.S. Water Prize. He currently serves on the boards of The Water Council, River Revitalization Foundation, Mequon Nature Preserve, and Great Lakes Protection Fund, and is a past president of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, past co-chair of the Water Research Foundation and US Water Alliance, and a past member of the EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash