©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Lt. Governor Cherry Announces ‘Green Jobs for Blue Waters' Initiative to Position Michigan as a Leader in Growing Water Technology Sector

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ben Kohrman, Lt. Governor’s Office 517-335-1589
Bridget Beckman, MEDC 517-335-4590 beckmanb1@michigan.org

Detroit, Farmington Hills and state to partner with global company on technologies to reduce water loss, lower energy costs

LANSING – Lt. Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. today announced “Green Jobs for Blue Waters,” the state’s newest economic diversification initiative that targets the growing water technology sector, lays the groundwork for creating Michigan jobs, and advances a vital component of the Blue Water Economy vision for Michigan’s economic transformation.  

“Green Jobs for Blue Waters will create new jobs and attract new business investment to Michigan,” Cherry said. “Michigan’s water management expertise, highly skilled workforce, advanced manufacturing base, and hundreds of companies in this sector uniquely position us to be a world leader in the water technology industry.” 

Also participating in today’s Earth Day announcement were Jerry M. Ellis, mayor of Farmington Hills; Booky Oren, executive chairman of Miya; Pam Turner, interim director, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department; and John McCulloch, water resources commissioner, Oakland County. 

As part of the initiative, the cities of Detroit and Farmington Hills will partner with Miya on demonstration projects that will focus on lowering energy costs through reducing water loss caused by aging infrastructure. Miya is the recognized global leader in urban water loss management (WLM) technologies, including water pressure management, leak detection and selective pipe replacement. 

“This regional demonstration project can help lead to cost savings for customers while creating new jobs for our area and help diversify our economy,” said Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel. 

Farmington Hillsis excited about working with Miya to bring their innovative technology to southeast Michigan, which can lead to reducing energy costs that will benefit the entire region,” said Farmington Hills mayor Jerry M. Ellis. 

Green Jobs for Blue Waters and the partnership with Miya are a result of Governor Granholm’s investment mission to Israel in November 2008 and the corresponding Memorandum of Understanding she signed with Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishi on November 17. 2008. Granholm traveled to Israel and
the Middle East last year to meet with government and company officials in an effort to develop water-technology partnerships and encourage investment in Michigan. Lt. Governor Cherry leads the joint Michigan-Israel water technology working group. 

Israel’s Consul for Economic Affairs to the Midwest, Noa Asher, said, “This is an important strategic partnership that is beginning to show real progress. Michigan is an excellent location for Israeli companies to test water technologies and subsequently develop their products by taking advantage of Michigan’s research and product development capabilities.” 

Green Jobs for Blue Waters will focus on municipal, industrial, agricultural and residential water use with the goal of assuring clean and sustainable water resources for the state and region; promoting and developing ecosystem restoration technologies; promoting the efficient use and re-use of water resources; and developing and expanding the water-technology supply chain to export these technologies globally. 

Successful demonstration projects will result in savings by allowing development of new water loss management techniques that will benefit the entire system,” said Pam Turner,interim director, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department . 

“I was pleased to accompany the governor to Israel to meet with the innovators in water technology with an eye toward encouraging global cooperation coupled with local investment,” said John McCulloch, water resources commissioner, Oakland County. “Our efforts represent a powerful collaborative that can leverage its extensive knowledge of water needs and advanced manufacturing prowess. By partnering with outstanding universities, it can rely on leadership in research and development, along with business acumen to launch water technology businesses in rapid fashion.” 

Water technologies represent a $500 billion global market. That market is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020. By some estimates, at least 36 states will face increasingly severe water shortages within the next five years. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has identified water technology as one of the targeted high-growth sectors – along with biofuel, wind and advanced battery – in which Michigan is well-positioned for economic leadership. 

# # #