Water is Economic Asset for Northeast Ohio
In working with its partner organizations, the Cleveland
Water Alliance is changing the way we talk about water in
Northeast Ohio. Critical to the health of the United States and
world economy, water represents a major economic driver for the
region thanks to the abundant, high quality water resources
available in our area. The Cleveland Water Alliance is working to
leverage these innumerable assets to help drive economic
development in Northeast Ohio.
With current economic models putting 48 percent of the
world’s GDP at risk due to water quality and quantity
challenges, it’s clear to see why water is so vital for our
global economy. In a world of increasing population growth and
changing climate, access to high quality water for consumption,
energy, agriculture, industry, and recreation stands to
significantly drive economic development for decades to come.
Northeast Ohio Advantage
Luckily, Northeast Ohio is home to abundant, high quality water
resources that support shipping, local industry, personal
consumption, recreation, and tourism, as well as other measures of
economic, social, and environmental health. Additionally, the
region has a unique eco-structure of water-related businesses,
industry, and academic-based researchers, along with a robust and
supportive system of innovation accelerators that bring access to
capital and scale-up support.
For example, this eco-structure helped bring to our region the
Cleveland-Europe Express, the only regularly scheduled
international container and non-containerized cargo service on the
Great Lakes. The vessel “Fortunagracht” now makes
regular trips between Europe and Cleveland through a partnership
between The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and Dutch
company, The Spliethoff Group. Started in 2014, the service puts
the region in a good position to become a cargo hub for Midwest
manufacturers and benefit our local businesses and
Not only benefitting business, our region’s water resources
are also providing new sources of fun for residents and tourists.
For example, helping to make access to the lake from downtown
Cleveland a reality is Rock & Dock at North Coast Harbor
Marina. Opened in 2014 and located behind the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame, the company offers paddle boat, jet ski, kayak and paddle
board rentals. In addition, boaters can dock for a few hours or up
to a week in one of 53 boat slips to take in the sights or have
dinner in the city.
As industries throughout the world become more conscious of the
need for water and look to the Great Lakes region, we need to be
ready to support this opportunity for economic growth while
preserving and enhancing stewardship of our water resources.
Throughout 2015, the Cleveland Water Alliance seeks to elevate the
conversation around the value of water through a number of unique
Facilitating the Year of Clean Water working group with the City
of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
Starting phase 1 of a study of economic, social, and
environmental indicators of the value of clean and abundant
freshwater to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio in collaboration with
the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.
Developing a regional industrial and commercializing platform
around Water Technologies that builds on our regional strengths
with sorbents, remote sensors and monitoring,
coatings/anti-corrosives, and automation/controls within the water
Hosting a quarterly speaker series at the City Club of
To learn more about the Cleveland Water Alliance and how water
can serve as an economic driver for the region, visit http://clevelandwateralliance.org/.