Water is Economic Asset for Cleveland Plus
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 economy.
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.
The Future 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 initiatives, including:
- 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 industry.
- Hosting a quarterly speaker series at the City Club of Cleveland.
To learn more about the Cleveland Water Alliance and how water can serve as an economic driver for the region, visit http://clevelandwateralliance.org/.