One of the goals of the Cleveland Innovation Project, a collaboration among 150 business, is building the region as a center for the water industry as demands grow worldwide for clean water.
The demand comes amid concerns about growing populations, droughts and flooding across the world. Other water-related problems created by such incidents as the train derailment in East Palestine earlier this year and by periodic dangerous algae blooms on Lake Erie make clean water accessibility a concern. All the while, efforts continue to provide drinkable water to homes more efficiently and at less cost.
While the Cleveland Water Alliance's work is introducing water industry businesses around the world to Northeast Ohio, the 300 water-related companies already here can help grow the industry and attract new businesses. The clean water industry in Northeast Ohio is made up of a huge variety of companies pursuing a broad range of technologies and solutions from plumbing hardware to software that uses artificial intelligence to detect and find treatment solutions for pollutants and containments, and everything else needed to get water to the kitchen sink.
The largest business in the sector in Northeast Ohio is Moen Inc., one of the leading brands in the plumbing industry. Well-known for its line of kitchen and bathroom hardware, the North Olmsted company, a unit of Deerfield, Illinois, Fortune Brands Innovations Inc., has expanded its offerings to include a line of "smart home" products that includes showers, faucets, water detectors and valves.
All can be controlled by a Moen smart water app or by voice commands or physical controls. The product line includes devices that can detect leaks and shut off water automatically and provide feedback and manage devices by Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Another major Northeast Ohio player in the water economy is Kinetico Inc., which manufactures water filters, water softeners and water treatment products in Newbury. The company sells largely to homeowners, mostly in suburban and rural areas, according to Beth Allison, the company's director of marketing. But it also has a commercial side that works with fast food restaurants and coffee houses, which may have specific water filtration needs.
It also has created the Kinetico app to monitor its products, set up maintenance reminders or request service.