Elon did it for electric cars, but can we do it for water? Well, come check out how scalable Dan Early's technologies are… Between his Modular Water Systems™ and the Regulation A offering we just filed, we believe it's a whole new ballgame! Can making direct investment in water and point-of-use water widely available for the first time make the difference? Find out in the replay!
Transcript from recording
Riggs: We're building what we call a fast scaling network. What is that? First of all, businesses just sign on the dotted line and get water treated and managed on the meter. No capital required. That's it. 15 year contract typically is normal with with price indexing. We delegate it all to a regional company. That way, we're not trying to build a huge water company which is going to take another 25 years. Instead, we simply tap the existing water, the local water companies, wherever they are. And we also plan to license our own amazing prefabricated Modular Water Systems™ technology to standardize the fleet.
And hello, everyone. I thought I would break tradition here and wear a tie. That's because, you know, we're going to be a Nasdaq company, Right? So I've got to act the part. Anyway, I don't know if I'm going to do it, but Ken and I were going back and forth about that before the show. I have ties and these ties are very lonesome. And so perhaps I will go back into that. Could be fun. But then it might be making me look like an investment banker and then we wouldn't want that, would we? And I'm not an engineer, so I can't go around in overalls. We'll figure it out.
Anyway, welcome to the show, and I'm going to jump right in here. As people arrive, Water — The Blue Gold. Thursday, December 1st. Wow. Last month of the year. Water Like an Oil Well™ is the emerging income asset. And I'm in the middle of my CEO briefing probably the last, what, three weeks to go? All right.
Obviously Safe Harbor statement.
Difficulty of Scaling
And what are we going to talk about? Well, you saw that I teased you about. And Keith Roeten, thank you very much. "You look great every time." Thank you. Keith, we're going to have to put you on staff as the the chief makes CEO happy guy. That's going to be your job.
So I teased earlier this morning about a very interesting Elon Musk quote, which is right here. "The extreme difficulty of scaling production of new technology is not well understood, 1000 to 10000% harder than making a few prototypes." Now, it's interesting because a few years ago he had a commencement speech, which I've actually featured on his show at Caltech, where he said, "It's easy enough to write a PowerPoint. It's harder to make a real machine or a car." Right?
Well, now he's talking about, well, for that first car, what about making production scale? And we've watched him go from what was a pretty crappy the Lotus Elise back in the day. What was it, 2008 or something like that? To where he is today. And I'm a proud owner of a Tesla and it's quite a good experience. He's done a great job. So what does this have to do with us?
Well, as you know, in 2015, we acquired the company Progressive Water Treatment, which is an amazing company. But they are a job shop. They do individual jobs and they do whatever technology it takes. Last year, for example, in August, we received a $5 million contract with one power utility in the Southwest to do their water work. All by itself that exceeded our business, all our normal business. And of course, they're getting their own specific set of solutions. And there's a ton of different, there's actually three sites, three different power plants in this utility, and it's all very well, but it's all based on personal skills. They do really, really well. They have a wonderful reputation.
But we soon realized that this was not going to work. And we moved in 2018 to acquire a scalable technology, which is Modular Water Systems™, and Modular Water Systems is. And I'm not going to get into tonight because we've covered it in the past. And I want to have another good interview with Dan. He's doing some amazing work, but he has always understood the need to have standard product line and just go just push them out, push them up.
The other thing that's very important is as we move into Water On Demand, which is our signature, really our flagship program, it requires these specific kind of compact prefab Water Systems in a Box™ that are appropriate for these what we call middle market waters as a service installations. Right. Not the huge ones like an entire island, not the small ones, like a home. But in the middle there, between half a million dollars and perhaps three, 4 million. That seems to be about the range.
And also, what I'm going to give you next week is some insight into the actual projects that we are bidding. Remember last week I went through one of the actual quotes. There's been more progress, more to follow on that.
New Business Unit
So I'm just really happy with how Dan is building his team. We're now splitting out the pump station business EveraMOD™ and that's, the first of the year it will be its own business unit preparatory to it being a new company, right? Remember, we're turning into the industry's very first incubator. And as a result, he's just getting people at it as fast as he can. And Tom Marchesello as COO is chief operating officer, is supporting him beautifully. So super happy about that. And I believe that we're doing a good job in that area.
OK, today we filed our S-1 registration. What is an S-1 registration? Well, it's basically, we did an our first S-1 and our only S-1 to date until this one was back in 2007 when we used it to be an IPO. S-1s are used for initial public offerings. Now, this is a specialty S-1, so it's not going to take as long. We filed that S-1 in November of 2007 and we were finally trading in April. This is not the same kind of in-depth examination of everything the SEC does. It's for a specific purpose, which is the institutional partnership with a very good group called GHS Investments.
This is going to be very strategic for us because it's going to help us do a lot to clean up the balance sheet of the company. But also I believe we can get some acquisitions done which we want to keep doing it, be they early stage for incubation, but probably more likely we want these to be accretive. An accretive acquisition is one that adds revenue and profits to the existing thing and it hopefully is plug compatible, as they say, with the company, so you don't have a lot of trouble.
We don't ever want to acquire companies where the principals then want to go off and play golf. We want them to stick with us. That means relatively young, dynamic, excited, and we have a number of these targets in mind. So that is going to be very good use of funds because it adds revenues and profits and more market share.
Here was the original October 25th announcement. Now we control the process, so we make sure that this is not going to be damaging to the company, that it's done on a incremental basis and that it only happens proportionate. By the way, it's limited is only only a certain percentage can be done relative to the volume of the stock. But in addition, we were very, very, very attentive to not putting pressure on the stock. I don't comment on stock, but I believe we have a pretty neutral situation as far as quote unquote pressure. I don't think there's any major pressure on the stock. And so we wouldn't want to mess with that, would we? Okay, enough of that.
Here is the actual filing. Filed exactly at 4:21 p.m. today and you can find it if you search on OriginClear in the EDGAR system. All right.
Regulation A Offering
Regulation offering. As you know, we filed a regulation, a offering. And I see that James Wright has said. "Good evening, everyone." Hello, James. That is for unaccredited investors. And here's the filing. It was done back on the 16th of November.
And here are my comments on it. Pretty much the same comments. But what's in italics is what I believe is going to happen now based on progress we've made, that the actual offering will launch on or about January 1st. There's still some approvals working, but I have reason to believe that we will meet the approval requirements. In the meantime, we're putting up an early reservation system that will allow people to get registered, basically nonbinding reservations, but that is really just to keep things flowing while we complete the approvals.
Fastest Housing Slowdown Ever
I like to comment occasionally on the economy and this this this graph struck me today like a ton of bricks. Look at this. Fastest housing slowdown on record. In the Air Force they call it fence-posting, when a jet fighter goes straight down into the ground like a fence post. I mean, we've never seen this. Let's take a look at these slowdowns where that occurred. Now, these are during fed hiking cycles. Right. Which is why you don't see the 2008, 2009 recession. In other words, we shouldn't be slowing down this badly during a slowdown.
James Wright, "Where do I find the reservation list for Reg A?" It is not published yet. We will do an announcement, I would say, in the next four or five days. It would be up and running. It will be announced. So just watch your inbox. Anyway, this, this is new territory, in my opinion, and there's nothing pretty about it. 1983, which is the black one, months from the first Fed hike.
So as you see, some of them went up from the first Fed hike. Some of them went down. 1994 went down. 1999 went down. The others all went up. So this is really an outlier. It's what you might call a black swan that crashes from the first Fed hike. Reason, I believe, is that I think the Fed hiked far too late. It waited way too long. Gosh, what was it? It was end of 2018 when Donald Trump, President Trump tried to pull things back and he was unable to. He just couldn't do it.
Infrastructure. This is another very, very interesting thing, which is America's electric grid can't support the EV electric vehicle revolution. This is an interesting article. I won't go into it, but it really says what's going on with infrastructure, be it energy or be it water.
It's just that water is not as visible because water is primarily still a municipal business, it's primarily still governmental, but it's becoming de nationalized. And in the process of being nationalized, it's going to become more visible. But it's got the same problems. It just doesn't have the capacity. We were seeing it with the electric grid and we're certainly seeing it with the water infrastructure.
So I'm going to go ahead and run part three. The final part of the Kelly Cardenas Show, there is a part four, quote unquote. But you're going to have to actually go to the actual original because it gets into personal experiences, which don't really apply to this briefing. But it's very interesting. Kelly is a very good interviewer, and he drew me out, shall we say. So if you go to Kelly Cardenas podcast on YouTube, you will find the OriginClear interview. And if you're interested, go to the very last 15 minutes or so. You'll find them interesting. But let's, let's go ahead and take a look at the third 20 minute or so period. Here we go.
Start of presentation
Kelly: Talk to us about on the day to day, some of the mishaps or the misunderstandings that people have about their water, like in their day to day routine.
Riggs: Well, for example, so many people are moving away from the mega-cities to secondary cities. And, you know, Florida's benefiting from it. It's a wonderful thing. But it's also overloading a lot of the rural water districts which are not accustomed to that level of load. And frankly, people are still installing these septic tanks, which we need to just put an end to it. Septic tanks are a big, big part of the problem. They mess up all kinds of things.
So number one, we need to move off the septic tank regime and that can be done individually. It can be done through pressure at the political level. The second thing is, is that there can be off grid housing developments and housing developers are waking up to, "Hey, wait a minute, I can buy really, really cheap land that's not sewage connected and I can go ahead and develop on it and put in one of these off grid water systems." So these are good. These are good, bright ideas that we can have. What you can do at the individual level. Again, make sure that your own water supply is good. I think that the people need to be aware that the world is moving towards decentralization. Let me give you an example. That's a totally different space.
We know that in California, we're never going to get the bullet train right. It's not going to happen. We got that one little segment in the Central Valley and that's it. But we are going to get is the Google self-driving car. Why? Because we already have the freeways, right? So, boom.
Very similar here in water. We're not going to get the giant trillion dollar infrastructure fix. We're going to get self help and water independence, distributed water treatment. And so it's important to think that way. And just as with, you and I have nothing to do with the Google self-driving car, but it's good to know that that's the trend. So at a certain level, you know, you're being an informed citizen and at some point you're going to have a chance to say something about it, to have, to perhaps invest in technology that is going to make a difference.
Right now is a very bad time to be invested in high tech. Who knows if that's going to continue, but maybe it's time to think about more legacy stuff. I'm invested in my personal portfolio in legacy stuff. Why? Because I think it's time for these old school industries to modernize and to become advanced and that's what's happening in water.
Kelly: So take us into that Star Wars realm, Riggs. If you would have told me when I was a kid, you know, there's going to be a self-driving car. I would've been like, Nah, I mean, that sounds cool. I see The Jetsons, right? Yeah. And now, now it's a reality, right? And I remember when in I think it was 2000, this was 2004, 2005. I remember buying a, it was a 2003 car, so about two years old, but it was a SX 55 Mercedes, the AMG one. And it had the, it had the, the seats that blew up on the side as you go around the corner to hold you in the seat, because that's absolutely necessary in life.
Kelly: It also had one. It had one of the first stop and go cruise controls and I was like, blow my mind. And now if you buy a Honda Civic, you've got that on the car, Right. Tell us about something that's coming with water that is so far out there because that's what your job is and the tech side of it and what you do, you've got to forecast and see the future. What is going to be the thing that will freak people out that they hear today that is going to be natural and normal for their kids and our kids with water.
Riggs: You are going to eventually go off grid yourself at the single family home level. It's going to happen yet. We're going to continue to see a degradation in the municipal services the way it's going, and I don't see it being fixed anytime soon. And there's very good systems. We don't sell them, but you can get one right now from Fuji Water and it'll be more of these which treat your outgoing water, your Blackwater, as they call it.
You can recycle it, you know, to sprinkler your lawn, etc. and then you can treat the water and the black stuff goes into a sludge tank that gets pumped out once a year. And that's going to become a routine. And that is not a bad thing. It's happening in business right now. Businesses are taking advantage of it. How? Well they can, as I said, locate in an area that's not served and get a bargain on land and still have that sewage service because technology has advanced that far. So that is that is definitely where it's going.
Kelly: You're the authority on this. You're going to be like, no, I'm not the authority. I'm just one. But you are you're the authority on this and you're a humble dude, which if I if I was doing what you were doing, I'd wear a cape and a Speedo and just have a fan in front of me and blow the cape all the time because I'd be the man.
Riggs: No, that Jason, Jason already has the Aquaman.
Kelly: But in your daily routine, what do you do? That you need to correct when it comes to water, because, I mean, I know some of the greatest financial minds in the world and then I'll talk with them and they'll be like, Yeah, but I do this one thing and this is the thing that I need to correct. Being the authority, the world authority as far as on water and water conservation and moving that way and changing the game, where do you mess up or are you perfect Riggs and dropped straight from heaven.
Riggs: I tell you, the biggest problem that I have is that we are one company. And no matter how successful we're going to be, we're still going to be one company. And I believe that to change water, there must be a movement. And scaling that up to the level of movement. I mean, I believe we're going to be a great company, we're going to be huge, etc., but we're not. I don't see us being a movement. I don't it's not yet real to me. Maybe.
Well, I actually I've started to think, let me just spitball a little bit here, because at the lowest level of our company, we make water machines, systems that purify the water, etc. That's what we do in Dallas and in Virginia. That's our job. Next level up now is this fintech solution, which finances, with the help of our investors, these water systems so people don't pay up front. What I'm thinking is that the fintech thing is the scalable part, not the building, the water machines.
If we can spread the fintech thing to go, okay. You, sir, in Dubai, you've got a financial organization. We'll go ahead and give you the Water On Demand franchise for the Middle East. And you'll go ahead and you'll finance the water systems in Middle East. And you, ma'am, or sir in Singapore will do the same thing for the Malay Peninsula, etc., etc., etc.. So what I'm saying is, let's take this financial system that we've built and export that. And I think that is perhaps the solution.
Now, it's still just a gleam in the eye for me. I'm far from it. Why? Because I'm in the trenches building this thing. But I think that's probably scalable. And there's also in part of that, there is a blockchain element, which these days is a forbidden term. We don't say the term blockchain if we're a public company because the SEC doesn't like it. But at some point there is a water coin in the picture. That's down the road also. But that's also part of creating this sort of umbrella activity that enables water as a service worldwide and democratizes it.
And that's way far away. I wish I could tell you I'm working on it now. I'm not. I'm putting, I'm basically doing this because you've got to make the home thing work well and then worry about scaling it. But as long as we haven't scaled it, we will not have solved this problem. I mean, I'm sorry. I like to think I'm omnipotent, but I'm only one company.
Kelly: So when you're talking about the scaling part, how have you been able to and this is always interesting to me because being able to talk to you from the time that we turn on the video and letting people know behind the scenes like this is who Riggs is, like the conversation that we're having, this is who Riggs is, even when the camera is not recording and there's very few people, there's people who put on the face, they put on the face for the company or they put on the face for the image or they do. You didn't put on any face. This is exactly like your tone is exactly the same. And I want to compliment you on that.
Riggs How do you scale and still keep the heart? Because this is where most people lose it, right? So they say, they have this idea, they bring in money, right? And so they scale with money or they bring in VC. And when they when it happens, then all the focus becomes on the return of the money as opposed to the mission that they started on. Is there the holy grail of being able to keep both?
Riggs: Yes. And here's how I believe that the Red Hot Chili Peppers said it best, "Give it away. Give it away. Give it away." In other words, it's going to work if I'm, I make OriginClear a successful company, and we announced yesterday that we are investigating a, working with a blank check company. In other words, these special purpose acquisition corporation, SPACs, have money, money searching for a business. And we may actually do one of those deals, which would be wonderful because we'd have much more capital than we have today. Great.
So my plan is to make ourselves and our investors really, really, really filthy rich because they deserve to be. They've been so incredibly loyal. But moving beyond this scaling idea that I have of going planetary and and exporting Water On Demand and so forth. Why should I try and keep a big piece of it? Why not just export it and let people use it and sort of export the knowledge and take a sliver of a lemon peel? Maybe just because you want to keep the IP or something like that, but keep it really, really approachable and easy and not try to become the the water god of the universe. I think that's probably the smart thing to do.
Kelly: And how does this work out, too? Because I think a lot of times, you know, I've asked this question of a lot of hard charging, whether it be Founder/CEOs. How does this work out as far as family wise and family dynamic? Because, you know, there's a lot of hard charging, you know, purpose driven entrepreneurs, founder CEOs, that they are so locked in to the mission that their family goes by the wayside. And when you spoke about your wife and you told me about her like you lit up. This was before we started recording. So I wish I would have recorded it because I would have sent it to your wife and been like, "Your husband really loves you."
But, but you you talked about it. Like, how does, how does a person that flies on the levels that you do as far as, and being in the tech business, then moving into this part. But you're also thinking, like you just said, a ten times multiple doesn't do it for you. It doesn't make you want to get out of bed. And so, you know, when you're scaling and you're looking at those kind of things, how and what do you do to be able to keep your family in line also so you don't lose that?
Riggs: Well, first of all, my wife has her own mission. She is, I call her the child whisperer. She's amazing with kids. She creates future leaders in her educational program. It's more like a group tutoring activity that she does. It's super cool. And so she has her own mission. And I have been privileged since we got together after the after my late, the mom of my son passed away in 2012, I got together with Sigrid and she was able to scale up her educational activity. And so we work together in doing that.
Obviously, I don't have much time to do it. I kind of like kind of help from the side. But we are we do work together on this and it's it's part of what's super cool is that she has she has nothing to do with my business, although I have to tell you that she hears me talking on the phone and she'll say, that guy, you've got to get rid of that guy. Like, what are you talking about? Like the way the way you're stressed talking to or about that guy. You got to get rid of him and she's invariably right. So, you know, she is involved in my business to the extent that she understands people very well.
And she will give me very good advice that I sometimes follow. And by the same token, we're involved together in this educational enterprise of hers, which she is so dedicated to. And in the process, for example, I get to go, we do these school trips to the slopes and we get to ski and I get to teach all these kids how to go in the trees and get in real trouble and freak out the parents. And I'm a happy camper.
Kelly: So I think I know what the answer is going to be. But what is it that brings you the joy? Like, what is it that brings you the belly laugh that doesn't? Because I asked this of a woman the other day. I said, You know what brings you joy? What what do you do that doesn't have any ROI? And she was like, I like to read a long book. I like to lay in a hot bath. And I was like, That's not what you said when you were five years old. You know what I'm saying? Like when you're five years old, you're thinking like, I want to do this thing. What is that thing that just brings you joy, that brings you no return in your business or no scalability, but it just brings you joy inside your heart.
Riggs: Well, I have a guilty secret, and that is that I basically ruined my career back when I turned 40. I was at the time in the film industry and I was in high demand because I'm a workaholic and film industry loves workaholics and I was doing well. And then I happened to drive across country through Colorado, and I realized that I had never ski bummed in my life and I needed to do it immediately. And so I literally just stopped with the film thing and I went skiing and I ski bummed. It was the best time I ever had. And people would look at me because I was a chef, on top of, top of Keystone. There's a four star restaurant on top of Keystone, and I'd be on the gondola going up in my chef's uniform.
And these people, when they found out that I'd literally given up film to do this, they were like, No, don't destroy your life, man. You've got to go back. You've got to do it. And I know. I'm actually having a great time.
I believe in just really blowing out. I'm a big, big skier, sailor. I've. Sailed professionally. So I am actually a licensed merchant mariner. Been around the world and. To me, these are things that are just very special. They're very special. They are a whole different class of thing, you know? Elon Musk wants to take people to Mars. I just want to go to I just want to sail to Hawaii. I think that's a wonderful thing. So to me, those are the great things is is be, do superlative things physically in wonderful physical environments.
Again, it's water, snow, ocean. So it's water. But that's really what what gets me and that's this is what I love. I take these kids and, you know, there's no way that a kid. This is the fastest a kid can go is on skis. Fast as a human can go is on skis. Secondly, a kid is never as free as when he or she is on skis. Why? The parents have no clue what they're doing. Like, did you have a nice time? Oh, yeah, I had a great time. Yeah.
They have no idea what that kid went through. The adventures, the craziness that happened. And that's a freedom for a kid. I think that kids don't have enough freedom, So I just. I feel so privileged when I take these kids and I show them how to master the slope, be safe and have control and then go in these terrifying drops or incredible tree runs safely and just come out of it just grinning from ear to ear. I think that's there's nothing better.
Kelly: So Riggs. What I notice too, is that when I, when I see people like yourself and I call you an icon, you're not going to call yourself an icon. But I am. When I see a person like you, it's almost a DNA thing, meaning that there's some DNA. I'm not saying that it was born in you because you had to work really hard. There's there's circumstances that came in all those things, but there seems to be a DNA that when you go at something, that thing is going to become successful. Right. And you've proved it in the tech world. You're proving it with with OriginClear. You're proving it in the fact of you said, you know, you had the water systems, then you went into the water service and now it's starting to be scalable.
You prove that in the in the movie industry. You proved that when you went and became a chef, right, because people loved what you were doing. You're helping kids, all those things. Let us into the DNA. What made up Riggs? Was it parents telling you things? Were you seeing things and what were, I mean, give us some of those specifics, because I think a lot of times people look at a Riggs and it's almost like you're the outlier, like I'm going to we're grading on a curve. I'm going to throw out the best one. I'm going to throw out the Riggs in my life, because maybe that's not possible. But what I've seen over time is that you're a human being, right? And so help us with that DNA. Help us with the makeup of what Riggs is. And how did you get there?
Riggs: Well, I had I was very privileged to have parents who were very international. I was raised pretty much all over the place. And my mom was an amazing person, artist, and raised six boys and did a great job at it. And my dad was, if you ever watched the movie, the TV series Mad Men, he was that, he was that guy, with all the flaws, a very interesting guy. And both of them passed away. But they, I think, imprinted me, I think with a certain ease, people sometimes don't feel empowered enough to do things. And they gave me the assumption like, "Hey, you can do it, you can absolutely do it." And I think that was very powerful.
You know, I had other influences. I had tremendous influence in my early career. Coming out of high school was in the nonprofit space. And I think that when you work in the nonprofit space, you get a certain dedication to not making money but making a difference. And that that was huge, too. So I think that I was very lucky to have that that influence on me. Absolutely.
Kelly: When you look at what you're doing, your mission that you're on, the things that you're doing, the way that you treat your company, the way that you grow, the DNA that you have as far as being successful in your business. Like it's no wonder, like you hear your character and there's very few people, I want to, I want to compliment you on that because there's very few people that their character is in line with all the things that they do. You know, I just I really, really, really want to celebrate it. And I want to, I want you to understand that specifically.
Riggs: Well, you're blowing my mind here, because part of what's happened, you know, anybody who's, I've been 14 years a CEO of this company. I can't tell you some of the things that we've gone through there. There have been, there was one time, one month we were literally down two credit cards with a bunch of staff. And without a credit card, it's like, Oh, Lord, people don't realize how much. And you've been through it, too. We've all been through these horrendous things and people will realize it because here we are.
And when I came out of it, my wife said two things. Number one is Riggs. You are so you're amazingly persistent guy. And number two, she said, Thank God you emerged because I have been so stressed and I realized that she had been more stressed than me watching me go through what I'd gone through. She'd been more stressed. And I literally I had no idea that she'd gone through that. It was so tough on her. We don't realize the effect we have on others.
Kelly: Can you say some to end the podcast in French? Because it just sounds so good.
Riggs: There's a very good saying in French, which is "french quote." "There is no arguing, taste or colors." What that really says is you got to let people have, do it their own way. And if they're going to be gaudy, it is what it is.
Kelly: Riggs You're amazing, man. I really appreciate you and I just want to thank you again. Riggs. You are absolutely phenomenal. I can't wait to have you on the show again and I can't wait to spend some time in the States.
Riggs: Kelly, we are going to do it. Thank you. It's been such a pleasure doing this.
End of presentation
Well, there we are. And I'm going to keep right on going here because the wonderful Felecia Froe is a doctor and she has a social impact investing show. It's not going to be, you saw how this thing got a bit personal, which was cool. And it gets even more personal if you get interested. You can always watch the YouTube. But Kelly Cardenas, who has a top 1% podcast, he's in the same class as Joe Rogan in the sense that you really feel that your ease and then anything is possible, Right? Let's jump right into it with Felicia here.
Start of presentation
Felecia: Everybody out there. I have been watching Riggs on his weekly briefings for OriginClear, the company that he is the CEO and founder of for quite some time now. So we've just been off camera now him getting to know me because I felt like I knew him already, like the movie stars you see like you know who they are. So we've been spending some time getting to know each other, which has been truly fun. Thank you so much. Riggs is the founder and CEO of OriginClear and Water on Demand, a company that is revolutionizing how water is managed in our country and ultimately around the world. I believe you've been in this business for a long time. Tell me how you got here and what's your drive to fix water?
Riggs: By the early 2000s, I felt I was qualified enough to be a CEO of a public company, and as I had just helped take a company public on the Nasdaq as a number two as President/COO. And I called up a fund and the, the owner of the fund, one of the senior partners, said, "Yeah, we think you could be a CEO, but we're not doing tech anymore. We're doing algae, algae for biofuels." And we launched OriginOil because algae is the original oil. And what, that was amazingly fun.
And my brother Nicholas had some technology in the area and we were going great until the fracking revolution occurred, which dropped the price of oil from $120 down to $35 at one point. And algae became a science experiment at that point. Too bad. And I think it's actually becoming relevant again. We could actually truly do algae again as a biofuel, given where the price of fuel of fossil fuels are going again.
But at the time we had to really we had an existential decision to make. And one of our people, Bill Charneski, said, "Hey, well, you know, we can pull hydrocarbons out of algae, which is a carbon chain out of water. We can do the same thing with hydrocarbons." That got us into a technology to clean excuse me, to clean up frack water. And then when we found out that the oil industry was still not spending money because of low prices, we expanded into water in general.
And these successive pivots landed us in the business of cleaning up the dirty water in the world, which, it turns out 80% of all the sewage in the world is not treated at all. It's just thrown away. Now, people have a lot of focus on the incoming clean water, and they should. If you're constantly putting the dirty water in the groundwater and the rivers and the oceans, then you will get dirty water coming back. So that's not good. So focusing on wastewater became our mission. What we then learned was that people don't pay a lot of attention to that. Why? Well, you think water is interesting. You don't think sewage is interesting, right? It's like...
And I want to go back because I don't want to skip by the statistic. You said 80% of sewage, the water that you flushed down the toilet is not treated.
Right now that's not true in the developed countries. It's flips, right? The US by far there is, there are some bad practices in the US. For example, the lower Hackensack River in New Jersey was just designated a polluted waterway. I think it's 137th in America, so it's not getting better, It's not great, but it's, the real damage is being done in places like Bangladesh where there is zero water treatment. Right. That's that's if you're talking worldwide, then you're talking about a real problem. And a lot of disease is attributable to dirty water. 6000 kids a day lose their life due to a water borne illness. Statistics like that.
And there's also a lot of scarcity. By 2030, there's going to be some real problems. By 2050, it's going to be a dire 50% of the planet is going to be facing serious water availability problems. And we. We need to do something about it. And one of the things we need to do about it is not only treat the water but recycling. And that's where in this country, yes, we do treat the water. Our antiquated central infrastructure system treats it and dumps it. It does not take it, send it back to the user. So if I'm in in Los Angeles and Los Angeles and I make the water dirty, it goes down to El Segundo, gets treated fine, and then it goes into Santa Monica Bay. And that's the end of that. It's not going to go back up to Los Angeles. And so that's a problem that can only be solved.
Really, just the same way as our energy grid is outdated and is not going to get intelligent anytime soon. It's solved by simply creating local intelligence, in this case, local water treatment. So if a business like a brewery starts treating its own water, then it is able to keep reusing it because it paid for the water. Now it's paying to treat it, but then it can keep reusing it and it's not buying new water. It's incentivized to recycle. And that starts to become a virtuous circle.
The other very important thing about about businesses and starting to do their own water treatment is that our infrastructure is badly, badly overloaded in this country. It has not been properly maintained. We're running about $75 Billion a year behind on needed investment, and it's not being caught up. It's useless to wish for something that's not going to happen. This definition of insanity. So let's just assume that the central infrastructure is not going to be really fixed.
Well, the other solution then is to take the load off. And it turns out that 89% of all water demand in this country and actually it's a worldwide statistic is between industry and agriculture. The only difference is between countries is how much is industry, how much is agriculture. In the US is about equal. 89%. So the residential, the humans, are only 11% of the load. And yet in California they're being told to take sailor showers and so forth. But that's not where the real, I'm all in favor, don't get me wrong, but it's not where the real gain is going to be.
And we believe that by helping businesses do their own water treatment, we can unburden the central system, which to literally 1/10 of its current load. And they can then do a wonderful job of taking care of people. A lot of people tell me, "Riggs water is a human right. Why should I have to pay for water?" And in a way, they're right. Ireland doesn't charge people for water, but you you've got to get the corporate burden off of the water systems. And that's done with decentralization.
Felecia: Early on, we talked about 80% of the water worldwide is not, of the sewage is not treated. And then we came to the United States where the majority of our sewage is treated but not recycled. So water is used. We get water in from where water comes from. Now, I'm sounding silly because no water comes from my pipes, right? I just turn on this faucet and it comes out. But where we use it, it goes down, it goes to a treatment plant, it gets treated and then it goes off. It doesn't come back to get used again.
The treatment plants that, where it's being treated are not, haven't been kept up, so that infrastructure is crumbling because of not, less financing going towards it. And I assume for that financial increase because I remember reading a statistic that federally that the federal amount spent on water infrastructure is really, really decreased. So it's now left on cities and counties and local jurisdictions to take care of it.
Felecia: So to increase the the funding to fix infrastructure is going to be a tax burden on everybody living there, correct? That seems like the way that's going to increase is that if I if we got to fix the water infrastructure in Tulsa and it's not coming from the federal government, where is my government going to get it from? And it's going to be from taxing me to get more of that money to fix that.
And then then I'm still buying bottled water because I don't want to drink that water because I don't trust it. And this is not a good system. And then there's places where people can't necessarily afford to buy bottled water who are then getting all these different chemicals in the water. We're not so much worried about sewage here, but we are worried about the chemicals that are washed off from agriculture. We said 89% of the water usage in our country is industry and agriculture.
Riggs: About half and half.
Felecia: About half and half of that. So 11% for the population, for people, 11% of the water usage in our country is people using water, and that doesn't even count. That's just the water in our water systems, not buying water and that kind of stuff. Right.
Riggs: Let's put it this way. Most people, thank God, don't live on bottled water. If they do, it's really, they're in a tough place because of very bad water situations like in Flint and so forth. But in general, people who drink the tap water, I like to say they won't die right away. In other words, there's no, it doesn't have typhus in it. It's not, it's not heavily bacterial. It's been sanitized, but it has, for example, these forever chemicals.
That's become a big issue this year. It has the roundup residue glyphosate. And I have a holistic doctrine at Riggs. You need to get a showerhead that removes that. And I got that showerhead, you know, because, you know, I have an under sink system for the drinking water, but your body sucks in a lot of water in the process of showering. And he said, you need to do that because Roundup is not a good thing.
Felecia: I actually have a friend who probably died from a cancer caused by Roundup, so the roundup is not good. Shower, so I don't know that very many people think about water being absorbed into their body and the chemicals in the water being absorbed into their body. But something to think about. I heard from something somewhere else. She spoke about being able to look, going to a site and seeing what the contamination is in your water. Can you go ahead and say what that site is, if you can remember that?
Riggs: Yeah, it's a very good one. So environmental working group EWG.org/tap water. And if you go there putting your zip code, you will find out what the story is with your particular local area. And generally you will find that the local municipalities are compliant, but that the standards are very much out of date. And so it will tell you, okay, it's compliant for lead, arsenic, uranium, whatever. But these but it's if you take the most recent standards is 2,000% over on this than any other thing. So it'll tell you both the legal compliance and the latest science on what it should be and it'll tell you what's in your water and you go there and you go, okay, you know what? I'm at least I'm going to have to get a Brita pitcher. I've got to do something right. Anything is better than nothing.
Felecia: Yes. And so let me ask you that. Do things like Brita, water filter Systems and the Zero, all those different filter systems, do those do very much for your water? Is that I mean, you said it's better than nothing. But if I'm feeding my, if I'm drinking, letting my three year old drink water from that is so much less body surface area and all those kind of things. That's the scary part for a lot of people.
Riggs: Look, again, the pitcher approach or those those those tanks with the carbon filters, very good. The the way to do it best, of course, is with an under sink system, which is reverse osmosis, followed by carbon blocks, followed by re mineralization, followed potentially by a PH increaser. If that's what you want. That is that is it. That is beautiful water and you should be drinking that. Now, it's going to be eight $900 then this, what we put into our condo is that plus the shower filters and and then we just went to a local water company to install a 0.2 micron filtration system for all the rest of the water in the place just automatically.
And that just made sure that, for example, typically the microplastics don't go below 0.2 microns. They go to about 0.250.235. So you'll stop the microplastics and most most everything. So that's a that's a sane way to do it. Some people do a whole home reverse osmosis. They spend three or $4000. I think it's overkill. Myself. So that's kind of the approach. It's kind of a hybrid approach.
End of presentation
Voila. And that brings us to the free wheeling discussion with the man, the myth, the legend. Ken B. What's that?
Ken: Nine contaminants detected exceed the EWG health guidelines for Westmoreland County, which serves 150,000 people. It's in the air and it's in the it's it's Beaver Kill Reservoir. It's like you can't fish there or anything. So I know exactly where it is. And I have put a carbon filter in the home. I didn't get, I got to get the showerheads from you because now, now I feel itchy every time I shower, I think about it, Right? So I have to get those showerheads from you.
Felicia's wonderful. Hello, Felicia. If you're on tonight, you look wonderful. Yeah, she's a, she's a good interviewer. And I got to say, Cardenas is, he's really, really good. Very insightful. It's. Yeah, Yeah. Eugene totally knows Beaver Kill, too. Yeah. So anyway, I was, I really enjoyed the way It's funny because you had this conversation with Kelly Cardenas, what, three weeks ago?
Riggs: Yeah, that's right.
Ken: Yeah. Yeah, it was. It's funny, the way you broke it up because these are conversations you and I had, like, yesterday, right? So it's really very oddly timed. That real estate chart you showed, which you kind of have to share with me earlier, guys, just so the audience knows, that's because I bought more real estate. So that's what happens when I buy real estate. The real estate market collapses, So just find out what I'm doing and do the opposite. You'll be okay, right?
I wonder how much of that, though, is what you and I talked about with Catherine Austin Fitts, how she you know, the, you said that they they increased rates too late, but they've also so the discount rate has the T-bill rate has spiked above the discount rate. And every time in the past when that happens, it's you stop. You stop. In other words, you've gotten ahead of it. Now you got to give it a quarter or two to kind of cycle.
Riggs: Now, of course, they're saying, well, we're going to pull it back, whatever. At this point, it is a freaking mess. I can't even figure out. I can't even figure out what's going on.
Ken: Well, Catherine Austin Fitts, you actually played it on one of our shows. She's saying this is not about inflation at this point. It's keeping the dollar as the world reserve currency.
Riggs: It's about cutting the knees off everybody else 100%.
Ken: And if you bankrupt everybody in the process, because if you lose world dominance in the world of reserve currency, all your assets go to hell anyway, right? Or heck, excuse.
Riggs: Me, I realize here's the strategy in the United States. Start here, and we've got to make sure that nobody that we slice off, whoever is competitive, compete with us. Then we go down and then we've got to slice off the next level down. Then we go down, we're slice off... We're basically slicing off the planet to be...
Ken: To be rich and make everybody poor.
Riggs: Worse, worse, worse, worse.
Ken: Totalitarianism, right? Yeah. So I don't know. I don't know that, I don't know that I'm down with that. But okay. The, some of the some of the conversations that you and I have had though, with respect to, this is a consequence of demand destruction, whether or not it's deliberate demand destruction or if it's organic demand destruction at this point doesn't so much matter. The thing that can't, the area that demand cannot be destroyed is in water. As long as people move from one location to another. And populations, so as long as populations expand or migrate The demand for water can only go up.
Riggs: And also there's going to be continuing increase in the water standards people. The EPA is not idle. They are trying to improve the quality of the water. And, you know, the states, the state, for example, in Alabama, the project that we have down there, it was driven by the Department of Environmental Quality, the DEQ. So there's a lot going on there that is continuous. And so that too drives demands for better water and this also drives this, degovernmentalization process where people, businesses take it into their own hands because it just becomes too onerous. And that, of course, is what we're talking about. Now, we are getting close to the end. But I have to say that you and I are very happy with how things are going with this little project of ours.
Ken: Can we talk about that?
Riggs: We're not. We're talking about not talking about it.
Ken: Ecstatic. The developments over the last 48 hours are, I couldn't have written a better story. Every time we learn, the outcome seems better, right? We're just, you know, we're just kind of peeling away at the layers on this thing. And it's really, really exciting stuff.
Riggs: It feels more organic. It's really what I'd say, it's more natural. Now, again, I don't want to run away with ourselves because as we said in the press release, there's no assurance any of this will happen. But nonetheless, we're having a good time.
Ken: We are having a good time. And again, when asked to distill our message down to what we want to do with the world, I think I think you've gotten really, really and I do it 100 times a day. So I think we both got really good at that. And I think, I think that's going to serve us well in the coming weeks, being able to distill what we do very simply.
Riggs: If you can tell your story briefly, the elevator pitch, then that's a huge thing right there. And I think we are there for sure. And I know that you've got a new presentation being pulled together with the help of the cool marketing department. By the way, a lot more coming from marketing, but we've run out of time. If you are accredited and you're interested in the hot stuff happening. oc.gold/ken in your browser or email firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to my CEO update and we'll be happy to bring you up to speed.
With that, I'm going to wrap up another one. We are, of course, on duty next week. I believe that looking at December we'll be doing the eight and the 15th. Okay, so we'll do 8,15 and 22nd and then we'll we'll drop out the 29th because that, that you're right. That's absolutely lost time and then we'll start up again on the fifth. So that's the plan.
Everyone, I want to thank you for sticking in there. We've had tremendous attendance, loyalty. I appreciate it so much. You guys and gals are very, very cool. The very best. I love you. I love you people, you're the best. And, you know, I bared my soul a little bit to Kelly Cardenas. And if you want more of that, go to his go to his podcast on YouTube. You'll enjoy it. With that, I'm going to wrap it up.
Ken: So have a good night, folks. Have a great weekend.
Riggs: Enjoy your weekend and get ready for the holidays. Here we go.
Ken: I know.
Riggs: Charles Davanzo says, "You're the best." Likewise, my friend. Talk soon.
Ken: Take care.
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