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Why Cleveland

Fifty years ago, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, sparking the creation of the U.S. EPA Clean Water Act. Five decades of clean water innovation, conservation and new technology development followed.


Innovation has long been part of life and work on the Great Lakes.

This defining incident was a cornerstone for economic growth in Northeast Ohio. Our region has one of the foremost concentrations of water-related industry sectors in the world. As a result, demand is focused here for several key growth areas, including water treatment for the oil and gas industry, chemical spill containment and combined sewer overflow segments. This makes us perfectly suited to establish Cleveland as a nationally recognized center for water innovation.

In Northeast Ohio, our past and our future is in water. Northeast Ohio’s history is deeply rooted in water, making it a vibrant center of industry, utility, technology and research partners who understand that our region’s future depends upon Lake Erie. The water resources of this region set the stage for technological advancement and continue to drive one of America’s most dynamic regional economies.

From 2013 to 2016, nearly 1000 new water-related jobs were created in Cuyahoga County with salaries ranging from $60k to $105k annually. This was significantly more net new jobs than Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Advanced Materials and Biohealth in terms of job creation, surpassing national averages for the Blue Economy sector.* Regionally, the Blue Economy supports tens of thousands of local jobs and billions of dollars of economic impact.

*Source: Ohio Aerospace Institute and Economic Development Administration

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