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The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the Center author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Center Overview

The Water Equipment and Policy Center (WEP) focuses on creating new sensors and devices, novel materials, innovative systems, and water policies that will help change the way the world manages its acutely stressed water resources.

WEP focuses its water industry research on point of use and point of entry technologies, emerging contaminants, sustainability, reduced energy consumption, and the 'internet of things' for the consumer, industrial, and municipal markets. Because regulations significantly affect the adoption of new technologies in the water industry, WEP has a policy component as part of its mission.

The growing world population is overwhelming scarce water supplies, and climate change is making the situation worse. WEP is headquartered in southeastern Wisconsin, home to more than 150 companies serving the water industry. These companies collaborate in establishing the region as the Western Hemisphere's leading water technology cluster. Since its founding, WEP's universities have made significant investments in facilities and equipment and added scientists focused on water research. These facilities, labs, and equipment have been instrumental in developing WEP's core strengths.


  • University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Marquette University
View Center Website

Center Personnel

Qian Liao
Center Director
+1 414 229 4228

Deyang Qu
Center Staff
+1 414 229 4853

Daniel Zitomer
Center Staff
+1 414 288 7200

Research Focus

WEP's data-driven research allows regulators to make informed policy decisions and connects today's water components and systems via the internet of things to build tomorrow's smart water systems. Research in sensors, materials, and environmental systems includes:

  • Innovative materials that resist corrosion, reduce friction, and save energy in water treatment and distribution systems, and self-healing materials that automatically repair cracks that develop.
  • Nutrient removal, advanced wastewater treatment, anaerobic digestion, and bioenergy generation.
  • Real-time sensors that detect contaminants in water and wastewater systems, and remote locations.


Member Organizations

IUCRC affiliated member organizations are displayed as submitted by the Center. Non-federal organizations are not selected, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the National Science Foundation.
  • A O Smith
  • Badger Meter
  • GE Appliances
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • New Water
  • Pentair Water
  • Sentry Equipment
  • Sloan
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Watts Water
  • Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources