As a company that provides pure drinking water through a diverse product line of Atmospheric Water Generators and patent-pending ozone technology; we watch these water disasters very closely. As a company, we have made a concerted effort not to sell on fear alone and not chase disasters, but believe education is the key. We like to equate our sales model to Sy Syms the clothing retailer that sold clothes with the slogan, “an educated consumer is our best customer”.
This gets to be difficult given human nature. We are reactionary as a people and then have short term memory after the disaster passes. It’s interesting as we get constant calls regarding Flint Michigan saying, “are you aware of what is going on in Flint” or “why aren’t you up there helping people with the water crisis”. Are we aware of it???? We are more aware then most of the people trying to garner press out of the disaster. We were aware of it before it became such a media story. In October of last year (2015) well before the media got involved with this crisis we wrote on our Facebook page that this was just the tip of the iceberg and the worst was yet to come. We said the same thing in November. We have proven that we are ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding these disasters.
The proper planning comes before the disaster. The proper long term growth strategy for an emerging growth company that wants to build its foundation is educating the public. We are here for the long term and the water crisis is not going away anytime soon. Unfortunately this is not the worst or last water disaster that is going to occur and we continue to build a foundation to be there in the future.
First let’s continue with the education process. The Water Crisis isn’t here because of 1 or 2 issues. It is the culmination of numerous issues that has made this a huge crisis. Let us name a few for the United States (not even getting to the problems in Africa or developing Third World Countries)-
- We have spent centuries following the Engineer’s Creed that, “the solution to pollution is dilution”. The easiest and cheapest way to get rid of bad stuff is put it in a body of water and dilute it. That only works for so long until the water you are using for dilution is already polluted.
- We have not invested nearly enough in infrastructures for the delivery systems. Most of our aqueducts systems are the same system from the 1800’s.
- We have not invested enough in the infrastructure of the treatment plants…..especially those dealing with the increased pollution and levels of harmful chemicals that keep getting introduced into our water supply for dilution or runoff (all of the chemical fertilizers, salt for the roads etc).
- Water is the least expensive utility and this has left us without the funds necessary to upgrade the systems, which doesn’t make sense because water is more important than any of the others (we have as a country spent more money on the information superhighway infrastructure -cables and towers- than we have on water systems. We have fast internet but dirty water…..think about it!
- Population Growth- we have the same amount of water to supply a greater amount of people and this problem is not going to change anytime soon.
- Global Climate Change-Whatever your view is on this topic, whether or not it is cyclical, we will not get in on that debate but we will state the numbers do not lie and it is an issue that we are dealing with. Climate Change is real and while we believe it does have something to do with pollution; you can still say it is a natural phenomenon. The fact is, it is here. Sea levels are rising; we have taken out substantial amounts of fresh water from our water table which is being replaced with sea water. This adds to the depletion of the fresh water supply.
That is just a short list. We will also state that there is not just 1 technology that will solve this crisis. The crisis is just too large and encompasses too many factors and areas. There are many water purification/filtration systems, desalinization units, and technologies poised to help solve this crisis and all are necessary and all have strengths and weaknesses. Picking and choosing the right one for your needs is important.
We can state that bottled water is not the answer and is part of the problem with the plastic waste and draining of our aquifers and there is no protection that the water is any better than what’s coming out of the tap.
We believe that our Atmospheric Water Generators are a GREAT solution to the water crisis and help people protect their water source for years to come. Why:
- We tap into an untapped source of water- our atmosphere. There are 3.8 quadrillion gallons of water in our atmosphere in the form of vapor. The natural water cycle that has replenished earth since inception keeps this cycle going.
- What other filtration systems are trying to take out of the water is never in our water. We start with pure water. None of the chemicals that run off into our water and no biofilm or materials in the water from the antiquated delivery system are in our water.
- Our ozone purification is unique and keeps the water pure and highly oxygenated.
Now our drawbacks are we rely on atmospheric conditions. So to answer the questions of why are you not in Flint Michigan begins with making sure we have the right infrastructure to be of help and be effective and efficient. While our machines will work well in Flint, Michigan it is not just plug and play and forget it like it would be in Florida. Today Flint Michigan is 20-27 degrees so our units must be indoors. Second is it must in a heating system that will not dry out the air like electric base board or forced hot air systems and we need at least 30% Relative Humidity to be productive and economical. Steam heat in this area would be ideal.
We are preparing a mobile disaster unit that we can drive to a water disaster to showcase our technology and provide water to the community. This will enable Drinkable Air to show its technology in the proper environment no matter where the disaster occurs.
We are making our contacts in the area of Flint and trying to identify places that can use our machines efficiently and once that is identified, Drinkable Air will have distributors there to explain and discuss our technology.
This approach does not come without criticism. Many have asked us why we haven’t “jumped on this opportunity” and taken advantage of the massive press that has been a result of this disaster. “Your participation would bring much needed exposure to your company” critics state. While we agree with these statements; we have gone through many water disasters in the past. Anyone remember: Toledo Ohio- algae bloom; West Virginia- Chemical Spill; North Carolina- Coal Ash in water.
These are just in the United States recently and all have been discussed previously by Drinkable Air. Through our experience over the last 4 years we have identified the best way to support these efforts. These are the initial actions and results of the first response to a disaster
- Most organizations go to a proven method with little risk-When the crisis hits, there is much panic and reaction and most people are not concerned with a new technology. They want water and they want water fast. The best way for that is ship in bottled water. It’s tried. It’s SOP. And you can get good press by it (Right Cher?- Tour coming up?) Yet all’s this does is create a plastic nightmare that is left after we forget about the last water crisis. We understand the reaction and the reason and that is why we focus on education.
- Due to the chaotic nature of the event no one has time to be educated. To explain where something needs to be or how it works does not take precedent in these situations. It is important to restore order first. Ask Retired General Honore about disasters (he was the person to restore order in New Orleans with Katrina and speaks on Preparedness on CNN. Read his book Leadership the New Normal or his Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save America and You from Disasters. We learned from the BEST! He was on our Board of Directors and we have listened to him speak.
- There are people that take advantage of the disasters. Yes unfortunately that is true. We are not stating this to call people out but when disaster strikes people get free stuff. We have chased disasters before and shipped units only to have them disappear or the press we were promised never materialized. We are not complaining, it’s just a fact. Better to learn from mistakes then repeat them.
We believe that as a people we are reactionary in nature. Part of what we need to change is becoming preparatory in nature. We heard something the other day……”A want that does not have a plan is a wish”. You may want to have safe water, but if you do not have a plan in place you are just wishing for safe water? Ask the people in Toledo or West Virginia how that worked out for them? This is the path as a company we have chosen to pursue and believe it will be sustainable, not just reactionary.
You reading this can help us if you believe in some of our beliefs’. We believe that educating and setting a foundation will do more to change awareness and how we currently handle these disasters. Instead of saying, “Wow it’s horrible” let’s do something about making sure the next one is handled better. We will continue to try and educate and also as an emerging growth company try and introduce our product as part of the solution (we are not a non-profit organization lol). There will also be times that we will introduce a different product or system that may help more efficiently under certain conditions. Again we state that the water problem is larger than just one technology and to say anything different is disingenuous.
While we are not in Flint right now; we are in 33 other countries generating safe drinking water for people or communities. We may develop a cohesive plan shortly and we may announce soon that we are providing water to Flint; but we are definitely building the infrastructure to educated and provide our services at the next one. This is 2016 and time for Drinkable Air to more aggressively provide Water for the World. We hope you will help in whatever way possible.