Southwestern Pennsylvania’s expertise and ability to address water-relatedneeds are creating business opportunities both at home and abroad.
Such opportunities are detailed in a report by water, environmental and engineering experts from Carnegie Mellon University. It was released Sept. 27 at a conference at ALCOA’s headquarters on the North Shore. Click here or on the slideshow below to see photos from that event.
Conference sponsors the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and Sustainable Pittsburgh also announced creation of a Water Economy Network of business, academic and non-governmental organizations to advance regional water innovation, leverage market development opportunities and solidify southwestern Pennsylvania’s competitive advantage while addressing water challenges here. The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) is a 10-county coalition that markets the benefits of doing business in southwestern Pennsylvania, and assists companies looking to relocate or expand here. Sustainable Pittsburgh builds coalitions to integrate economic prosperity, social equity and environmental quality for communities and businesses.
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development (of which the PRA is an affiliate) noted that Pittsburgh’s signature rivers differentiate the region.
“These abundant supplies of water are important to industry and commerce, but the preservation of them as natural assets is equally critical,” Yablonsky said. “Pittsburgh is globally recognized for investment in striking this balance, and we’re driving innovation related to the sustainability and security of water. We already have a foundation of firms – 3,000-plus strong – with the potential to identify and operate as a regional water cluster.
“And there’s room for more,” he added. “The implementation of the report released today and the formation of the WEN can help existing businesses access new water-related opportunities and will encourage new business ventures and job creation in a cluster that embraces supply and treatment, components, services and transportation related to water. This will position the Pittsburgh region to be a national center for excellence for the water industry overall.”
Jeanne VanBriesen, director of CMU’s Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems and a report co-author, said, “In developing the Sustainable Water Innovation report, we collaborated with a cross-section of regional stakeholders to evaluate past successful projects relating to water to identify criteria for future sustainable and innovative projects.
“The demonstration projects presented in this report help set the path towards distinguishing our region as a leader in water innovation and address water challenges here, while leading the way for other regions,” she added.
Eight projects from four broad areas were identified as potential tasks for a regional water innovation consortium, including:
(1) energy development and water management;
(2) navigation infrastructure, monitoring, and water security;
(3) stormwater and green infrastructure; and
(4) regional watershed and drinking water interactions.
The full report, Sustainable Water Innovation Initiative for Southwestern Pennsylvania can be found at www.pittsburghwed.com. Pittsburgh’s H2Opportunity: An Assessment of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Water Sector can also be found at this website.
Photos from the Sept. 27 conference:
Imagine Pittsburgh Now is the blog of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, which work with public and private sector partners to stimulate economic growth and enhance the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania.