We finally got a chance to show the footage of our PhilanthroInvestors® ambassador meeting — What a force! Their mantra of "doing well by doing good" lines right up with our major focus on accelerating the decentralization of water. Now, it's no longer a question of what needs to be done, just finding the fastest and most effective way to do it… And our Modular Water Systems™ and Water On Demand™ program are the ultimate vehicles if we can scale them. Can we? Find out in the replay!
Transcript from recording
Narrator: In today's economic climate, you want to get away from just holding on to dollars or even holding on to gold because gold doesn't earn money, right? Water On Demand™ is investment in actual capital assets that earn income. But think about it, if you can get a tangible asset and make royalty money from your tangible asset, then it's the best of all worlds. Lots of assets out there. A lot of people know they need to invest in assets. So,therefore assets are skyrocketing in value. Crude oil, precious metals, commodities of all kinds, lumber, you name it. Water has only begun. It's the beginning of the run for water.
Riggs: Here we go. Water. Now we've changed our slogan a bit. If you've noticed. Water, The Blue Gold. It's a bit more interesting. Water The Blue Gold. So it's November 10th. And briefing number 186. Water Like an Oil Well™, is the emerging income asset.
All right. Of course, the usual Safe Harbor statement and disclaimer on our accredited investor investments.
We're very excited that the regulation A offering is coming and we'll soon have to have that disclaimer up, which is so cool. So with that, we're going to keep on rockin.
PhilanthroInvestors Ambassadors Meeting
Tom Liakos, "Good evening." And it's a pleasure. All right. So I'm going to do another quick clip here. PhilanthroInvestors is the group that gives us international reach. They're wonderful and they have a group of ambassadors all over the world. And I got a chance to present to their ambassador team. Let's take a look how it went.
Arte: It is, of course, my great pleasure to introduce the CEO of OriginClear Riggs Eckelberry. I've known him for quite a while. We have a lot of portfolios that we work with, but this one keeps just keeps moving, keeps growing. Riggs is going to give us a little briefing overview from the ambassador viewpoint. Very different than from an investor viewpoint per say.
Riggs: I just really wanted to address OriginClear from two points of view. One is the idealistic point of view because you want to do something about the water and there is a specific problem in America and elsewhere with bad infrastructure. And the bad infrastructure is not getting better in America. It's getting worse by $75 Billion a year right now. For some reason, people aren't demonstrating in the streets about water, so therefore water doesn't become a cause and it gets neglected. We have naturally a solution has been emerging, which is let the people who make the water dirty, clean the water. So that's called decentralized water.
And it's very good because it's a good deal for the businesses. Let's say you're a brewery and you're growing and the local municipality can't take your water anymore. You get your own treatment system and you can even recycle it, which nobody else does. So it's a really great deal for businesses. But even more important is the unburdening of the central municipality. Why?
Industry and agriculture takes 89% of all water demand. In America about equal. It varies according to countries, but America is roughly equal. So imagine taking 89% of the load away. Now you only have 11%. And there's many, many people who believe very strongly that water is a human right. Well, it's a human right, except the corporations are just sitting on top of it, and there's no good reason for it. They they could just as happily exist treating the water themselves.
Riggs: Now, what are the barriers to this? The first barrier actually is not the water industry. The water is delighted to let businesses do their own treatment. It is two parts. One is simply the technology. Do you have systems small enough to go into a business? And the second part is money. So we solved the first part. Starting in 2018, we started developing a product line called Modular Water Systems. A brilliant engineer called Dan Early has numerous patents around this, and it's basically a Water System in a Box™ that you can take on a semi-trailer drop in that brewery, put it in the corner and it's done. So that sort of modular approach was very necessary if we wanted to go smaller.
Now in early 2020 COVID hit, and it caused all of us to look at our business model. And one thing we realized was now that it's no longer the water industry investing in water through municipal bonds, through corporate funding, no, now it's small businesses and they don't necessarily have $1,000,000 to treat the water. And we realized it's the it's the money, stupid. So if we can make it so all they have to do is sign a piece of paper and the system magically shows up in their location with full maintenance. Then it's an easy decision for them. And that became what we call Water On Demand. And it's basically water as a service. For the user it's the same as if he was getting a water treatment by the city on the meter, but he's paying us instead.
Now, this is not new. There are there are a number of players in this water as a service space. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is a big player. Bunch of VC firms are in it. There's a very, very good startup called Cambrian that is VC funded. But we are unique because just like petroleum partnerships or solar partnerships, we take money directly from people so regular people can invest for the first time in a physical water system. And that's very exciting. People love it because they have not been able to.
So as the monopoly of water is broken up, it creates markets. Look what happened when AT&T was broken up. At&t still exists, but the market has grown dramatically. You could even say the Internet came out of that breakup. So whenever monopolies are broken up, there's extraordinary opportunities for income. And we're seeing that in water right now. So it's a new asset. Now, here's a very interesting thing about this. Right now in the world, we are in very tough economic times and getting worse. A lot of people are stuck. You know, they're stuck in real estate investments that are not doing great or whatever. So what do they do? Well, the problem is, is that all these assets out there, real estate, energy, even precious metals, are geopolitically influenced. There's all kinds of politics. And they go up and they go down for no good reason.
And so it's a very tough environment. But water is brand new. It's a new asset. Its demand for water is not going to go down. You can't say, okay, now we're going to treat less water. Not going to happen. As a result, a founding investment in Water On Demand will easily rescue someone's regular portfolio. And we have a, we have a spreadsheet that shows this because in addition to the normal royalties for the rental of these units, that happens continuously, we're treating people with a wonderful founders package because it's early and instantaneously. They get a profit on their investment by the nature of the of the investment.
And so literally, we are, we are doing something called the portfolio challenge, where people, we're creating a web calculator where people anonymously put in what they invest, the different investments and then they plug in Water On Demand and whoa, okay, now I'm okay. Now, my spouse is not going to make me sleep in the couch. So that is, we think, a very effective way to deal with the fact that more and more people are going to be pulling back on investment. You know, we want to move them out of the fear mode and see Water On Demand as a fresh way to do well and also do good both. And I think that's where we cut it. We connect with PhilanthroInvestors. The whole idea of doing well by doing good is very much in sync with what PhilanthroInvestors operates on.
Arte: I want to mention something to that the equity factor, or better yet, the justice factor is so strong, I think, especially in these days. We said, "Well, we think that the people who dirty the water should clean the water." What does that mean exactly? Well, when a business again, a brewery, let's take that is connected up to the municipality, we're paying. We're paying as part of our taxes. So we're paying to help clean his or her water when in fact we didn't dirty the water, etc.. So we say, well, yeah, but your taxes are paying for the water. You get what, in my tap? I'm drinking that water. No, I don't think so. So it by, by the independents, by the decentralization, they are paying for it. They get better service. It allows for the city to put their money, if they would, into other areas that would be more, more valuable to these people who are paying for the water and the brewery and have no exchange for it. So it's got that factor to it. Can you say a few more few words about that Riggs? From a social impact viewpoint.
Riggs: Something struck me the other day when I, I watched a news report. In Ireland, the water is free. In other words, individuals, I'm not talking about businesses, but people don't have to pay for their water on the meter. And a lot of people feel that way In America. I get a lot of mail like, well, "Water is a human right. What's this about privatizing water, blah, blah, blah." And so what we're doing is actually enabling that by dramatically reducing the burden on the central water districts.
Now, remember, if it was just us doing it, it would take a long time. This is actually a megatrend. It's actually already happening. There is growth, our own business, our regular construction business that we have already, that that is just we bid for a job and we build it. You know, it's tripled this year and it's because there's a dramatic move toward self treatment, right? It's a tremendous amount of on site treatment happening.
So it's important to underline this is a trend and it's happening more and more. If we can push power to it and make it happen faster by making, taking the friction points out the two friction points, technology, you know, expertise and finance, we take those two out and we go, "You're you know, you want to do this. Yeah, well, here we go. Sign here." I pay a water bill. If the water is no good, I still have to pay. But in Water On Demand, the water is treated to a particular standard as part of the contract. We we do all the operations and maintenance, so it's a way to dramatically speed it up. It's also a way to to create this new asset class.
Now, master limited partnerships were invented in 1981 by Apache Corp, and it's basically a basket of of energy properties, pipelines, natural gas, oil. And they're a basket and they return X amount on sort of long term royalties that has grown into a $300 Billion market with 65 MLPs and you or I can invest in it. It's a sophisticated investment, but nothing stops you or me from investing in an MLP. And a very similar situation with solar pools. People can also they invest in these these aggregated and REIT's are very similar. Real estate investment trusts are a similar concept. So we're just applying these, these winning concepts to water. And for the first time you can have a water investment trust, which is super cool, right?
A minimum of 50% of the money they invest is reserved for investing in water systems and water operations, etc. So that provides it's not just an investment in a penny stock, it's actually an asset investment. And that's very, very important. And the entirety of the investment is on a security agreement. So it's not like most of these startup type investments because it is an asset. So I hope that addresses it. Yes, there's a social justice aspect to it. We're going to do good things for the quality of water by, not by building up the big central systems, but by reducing the load on them and create this new asset class that anybody can invest in. And finally, bring this cool Water in a Box technology Modular Water Systems into distribution all over America and eventually the world.
Arte: Again, Riggs has mentioned the word asset. That's another factor that is of of certainly a value that your investors and those that invest, have/own a piece of the equipment that we're leasing out. The equipment is not sold to that company. They're paying Water On Demand, basically, you're just like you would for your cell phone. If they don't pay, something goes wrong, something happens, we take the modular system and we pack up our belongings and we leave. The value of that equipment is still growing. I want to say one other thing about the value of the equipment, too. It's very innovative in the approach that Dan Early and others there have done in creating systems that are modular.
Riggs: Modular Water is these relatively small systems that can be deployed rapidly in a housing and they're fully self contained. It's very elegant. In fact, most of the jobs that we bid on, we are actually the mandated design. So others cannot compete because our proprietary design has been mandated by the consulting engineer on the client side. Modular Water is taking off. Recently we had a single month of Modular Water revenue was or sales rather, was the same as an entire year 2021. So they're growing extremely fast.
One of the decisions we made was, you know, it's much easier to raise money than to build stuff. I don't know if you've noticed this, but you can raise all the money you want. It takes time to build things. Whether it's real estate, cars or water systems. So we made a decision that we would not try to build every one of these water systems, but that we would name partners out there in the industry who would do the installation and maintenance for us.
And we have one such partnership in place. We are about to launch a mergers and acquisitions drive. We've done it before and now we're going to do it again to acquire companies that will do this field work for us because that's, why leave that money on the table? And so you'll be seeing that happen as well. So that's going to do wonderful things for our fundamentals.
Arte: The whole concept is how do we clean the greatest amount of water? And that's why these outside contracting and or acquiring of these companies allow Riggs and his team to be innovative and do it with what they're doing, without attention to the nuts and bolts of the daily maintenance repair, all of that, that is often required when you're dealing with machinery.
Riggs: We have a growing business working again at the industrial level. We do not work at the single family home level because that's a, that's a commodity business. It's very mass marketing. There's some very good players in it already. So we're not trying to treat the incoming water in a home and we're not trying to treat the effluent, the black water, as we call it from that home. But we will do a housing development. That's a very good market for us.
And we're already talking, excuse me, through Ivan in fact, he's got a couple of projects going where people can develop a piece of land off the sewage grid. Saving tons of money because the land itself is so much cheaper and they don't have to pay the $2 million to connect it. Just putting in a closed circuit black water treatment system for the entire housing development and because they don't have to pay the capital, the homeowners association can pay the bill ongoing, so pass it on to the HOA. Developers love that kind of stuff.
Robert: At present, the the water that comes out of the equipment isn't drinkable or whatever. So what on what scale is that water cleanliness at present?
Riggs: Sure. Well, Robert, first of all, we can treat water all the way to ultra pure. Not a problem. It's really a financial decision. Most businesses are. They're treating the water that. The effluent, for example, the effluent from a brewery. There's a lot of it, but it's relatively benign. It's organic. They're treating it to the level that the city requires to. To take it as quote unquote treated water. Now, if they decide to re-use it, they might take it up to the level of irrigation quality. For example, in a brewery you can reuse about 50% of the water for non beer making. In other words, not to make actual beer but to wash downs and steam vessels and so forth. You just need to meet those levels of minerals so you don't calcify the systems or whatever.
Again, we can dial in the requirement exactly. There's really three major phases to what we do. The first phase is the incoming water, which can be from the city or from a well. And different things have to be done to treat a different ways. Then there is the wastewater treatment itself. And finally there is water reuse where it's being reused for irrigation. In other words, we're getting another turn. Here's what's interesting. America does a terrible job of recycling water and yet, we're running out of water at the same time. This is ridiculous.
Israel, which is has a more modern infrastructure, has almost 90% recycling of their water. You know who number two is? Number two is Spain. Actually, with 20%, we do 1%. And that's because our water systems are old. Like if you look at New York's amazing it's called the Delaware Water system. It comes down through the entire state and it goes beautiful water out of the tap, but then it goes into the Atlantic Ocean and it doesn't go back up. It's not set up that way. So but if you're treating right where you are, you can reuse right where you are.
And so water is it becomes more expensive, it's more and more worth. "Hey, I paid for this water already. I use it again and again and again until finally it's just doesn't make sense anymore." But several rotations of the water are completely doable. Water is the one thing that's inflating much more than even energy is. It's ridiculous. Water rates are skyrocketing, much higher than inflation. As water rates increase, businesses are charged two things: they're charged for the incoming water and they're also charged sewage. They pay sewage fees. Both those things are rising fast. And the people who are adopting their own water treatment are the people who are being charged very expensively by the local water district.
Robert: So what is the value prop. If a company is paying for incoming clean water and sewage going out, what percent of that cost can they save by having Water On Demand?
Riggs: So typically it's easy for them to keep getting getting fresh water from the city. That's usually a decision. It's rare that unless they're agricultural, they'll just get their water from the city, but they can save 100% of their sewage charges because when you send treated water to the city, that's fine. It's just water. It really starts paying off. Number one, we can make the system pay for itself just on the sewage charges not being charged, but it starts really paying for itself when we get into re-use more than one turn, because now you didn't pay for the incoming water and you still not paying for the sewage, so you get a double bang out of it at that point, once once the water is in your hands, you can use it again and again. And that's that's where it starts to make sense.
You guys are a great group and I'm so excited about what PhilanthroInvestors is doing, you know, creating the champions for this. It's a growing thing. I think it's going to become a movement. These things always start like people go, "Huh, what wate? How does...?" And then they figure it out. They go, Oh, wow. Literally people, when they talk to Ken Berenger, they thank him for the opportunity. They go, "Oh my God, this is super cool." Because it's good for the world. You know, 6000 kids a day die from water diseases. It's really scandalous. So, in fact, I think it's not like a one Vietnam War per year or something like that of people dying from water. It's very stupid. And so doing something about the water situation and doing well seems smart to me.
Arte: Okay. Well, thank you very much. And we'll see you next week.
Ambassadors: Very pleasure, Riggs. Thank you. Good to meet you, too. You all, ladies and gentlemen. See you soon. All right. Thank you. Thanks, everybody.
Central water systems. How are we doing with that? Well, it turns out that in Honolulu there has been a problem with these Navy families because there was a fuel leak. Now, fuel leaks happen. Water systems get contaminated, but nothing much has been done. These people have been... This same thing happened in Flint. People just constantly were being just ignored and nothing done. Nothing done. And meanwhile, people's health is being impacted. This is the problem with central water systems. And on top of it, numerous impacted families had to spend thousands.
And guess what? The Defense Department program, got no program for that, no, we can't help you. I hear you. This is like the worst. So this is just a bad state of affairs with our central water system, because usually they're fine. But when they break, as now it happened in Flint, it happened in Jackson, Mississippi. It happened in Compton, now it happened in Honolulu. When these things happen, unfortunately, it just goes on and on without being handled. It's terrible.
And here's the other amazing thing. The Navy is cleaning all this water that was contaminated and cleaning it completely to the, to the level of complete pure. And then they dump it in this stream where actually it could be used. And while residents are being told to reduce their water usage, another typical waste.So it's a fascinating situation and I really think that we can do better really without impacting the central bureaucracy.
In the News
We've had a lot of news lately. I'm going to quickly rip through it. And first of all, there is real estate sector getting into preparing for upcoming water shortages, etc. And sure enough, it talks about off grid housing developments that are in the planning stages. Working with Ivan Anz, who you just heard about from PhilanthroInvestors.
And these off grid solutions are now being published in a real estate publication, which is great. San Francisco passed a law requiring every new building over 100,000 square feet to have their own water recycling system. So these things are happening. And basically the story is that it's a smart hedge against upcoming shortages and increasing water rates.
And in the automotive industry, we have a story about this dealership going offline, buying land that was super cheap and getting its own water, its own water treatment, shall we say. And sure enough, it is called a zero liquid discharge black water recycling system and moving towards closed loop water systems, etc.. And this is where, again, industry can be moving into a more responsible situation. And sure enough, the whole idea of being able to turn capital expense into operating expense is very powerful.
Then we have Finance Digest with importance of transparency and connections with business. And sure enough, here we talk about this, this very briefing that occurs. And I'm kind of giving advice here on how you can be transparent and what it really says. And, you know, this is that if I have to fill an hour each week, you know, it's very hard to not say everything because, you know, you run out of things to say. So, we actually, the audience knows very well that we respond to all comments made in the meeting chat. So, including people telling me that I've got the mic in the wrong direction.
And then here's a Lifewire, which is 22.1 million readers per month, not 22.1 readers. And they talk about a new technology to clean up water in the world.
And these are these dangerous substances known as PFAS.
What is PFAS? Per... this mouthful. Anyway, it's a group of chemicals that are very similar to, for example, Teflon. Teflon is a PFAs per and Polyfluoroalkyl substances. Anyway, so it talks about that. And sure enough, we are quoted here right there with Charity Water, where we have to do about things like arsenic and these chemicals. So that's super cool.
In the Markets
Riggs: All right. Now I wanted to comment a little bit on what's happening in markets. What the heck is going on in the markets? First, it was crashing. Now, of course, here's from our we have a service company called SRax. Theym, they do, they support us with our shareholder base, communications to our shareholder base. And turns out that the, first of all, CPI misses. In other words, the core inflation, actually has is down weirdly enough. And so futures surged. And in fact, it was one of the best days since 2020. Bulls are rejoicing, etc., etc..
But notice that the trend since December has been a steady down, right? I mean, it's all very well that it's on its way up. And I'm happy that my wife's 401K is doing okay. But nonetheless, I would not bet on the S&P. As all I can say now, special situations can do very well. For example, I'm in. I'm an oil exploration, small investment in oil exploration, and I think it'll do fine. Why? Because it turns out that I'm not going to get into the geopolitics of it. You know it as well as I do.
Exploring SPAC Merger
Okay. Now, we had an announcement, which I'm going to get into briefly about exploring a SPAC merger. What the heck is a SPAC? Well, SPAC is a special purpose acquisition corporation that is already on the Nasdaq. And it turns out there's way too many SPACs in the world. And we believe that we could fit one of these very well. And we cautioned that a specific SPAC has not been identified definitively. Terms are unknown. No assurance any transaction may occur. And at this point, this is all I can say. I'm very sorry, but that's the rules. I'm very, very limited in terms of what I can say. So I can only replay exactly what was released already. Sad, but true.
Videos From the Floor of PWT
All right. Quick video from the floor at Progressive Water Treatment. We don't have enough of this stuff where we show what's going on on the, on the floor. Let's take a look.
Start of presentation
Marc Stevens: All right. I'm going to talk today about this city water boost pump skid. It takes city water, increases the pressure. It feeds it through ultraviolet light and then onto a carbon filter and ultimately into an RO system. Without this unit boosting the pressure, the city pressure would not be sufficient to drive the water through the process that it needs to go through. It's made on a stainless steel frame and that stainless steel enclosures for electrical, every piece of piping that will be stainless steel as well. It is going to a bottled water company up in the Midwest. And the flow rate on this is 400 gallons per minute.
Ultra Filtration Units
John: Good afternoon. My name is John from Progressive Water Treatment. And this video is going to be a short video to show you guys where we're at with your project and your equipment skids. Behind me, this is UF skid number five. Pretty much everything on this is complete mechanically. We are waiting on a few components. We're waiting on some solenoids for the pneumatic valves. The solenoids will be here on Monday.
We've got flow instrumentation installed. We've got process pipe installed, termination panels installed. We've got some wiring we're getting ready to get started on. Turbidity instrumentation is installed. This skid, we are targeting a pressure test for Friday. This Friday, which is the 11th.
This skid right here is UF skid number one. Pretty much the same. We're waiting on some solenoids for the actuated valves. This Skid will have the main control panel with the PLC installed. We started working and fabricating the PLC panel this morning.
This is UF Skid Number five. UF stood number three in this area right here. And then this is UF skid number four.
End of presentation
Riggs: I know that the audio wasn't great, but it was a working situation.
Start of presentation
So the final video that I wanted to show you. This week, I was on the Kelly Cardenas show. Kelly Cardenas has, is in the top 1% of all podcasts, all podcasts. And it was a long podcast, an hour and 45 minutes, but it was very, very productive. And as a result, we decided to just do little chunks each week, just to give you a flavor of what was going on. It was really, really powerful and you can actually watch it one of these days. It's on YouTube right now, on the, on Kelly Cardenas dot com. But let me just go ahead and play this for you and you'll get a sense of it.
Kelly: Welcome to the Kelly Cardenas podcast, where attitude is everything. I'm just I'm so excited today because it's right in line with exactly what we were talking about. This man I met through a friend and the friend that I have named Ivan has probably one of the largest hearts that I've ever met in my entire life. We became fast friends right away, and he let me know about about Riggs. And he and Riggs is doing something that's absolutely changing the world and not only changing the world through the actual tasks and the things that they're doing within their company, but the way in which they're going about it and the way that Ivan connected was because of the heart of the man, not because of just what he was doing.
And that's what the for everyone that's been rocking with the podcast since the very beginning, or if you've just started listening, we are about chronicling amazing people who happen to do amazing things. And this is probably one of the greatest examples of it. In addition to that, he's absolutely changing the world and helping people to realize that there's one thing that's been under our nose the whole entire time that all of us need to be locked into and investing, which is water. So please welcome to the show, the founder and CEO of OriginClear, Mr. Riggs Eckelberry. And I said it right. Welcome to the show, my brother.
Riggs: Well done, Kelly. And thank you. It's such a pleasure.
Kelly: Well, let's let's jump right into that. I mean, some people think that I mean, water you compared water to oil and gas. And most people like how how are we going to make that connection point? How are you able to make that connection point and help people to realize how important water is in our community?
Riggs: Well, Kelly. Of course, you realize that for for the longest time, water has been a monopoly, meaning that it's been handled by the water districts, the utilities. And it's been very we assume it's fine, you know, the open, the faucet, the water comes out, we flush the toilet, water goes away, and we assume things are fine. We hear about Flint and Jackson, Mississippi, Compton. But these are just little... They come and they go, right. And nobody worries too much about it. The truth is, is that these emergencies actually are signals of a much deeper problem in water. And that's the simple fact that for reasons that I'm not entirely sure, water does not get the funding it should get. And so we have a big problem with that monopoly in that it's underfunded by the literally the water infrastructure in our country falls behind currently by $75 billion a year, and it's not being caught up.
Kelly: How could we ever catch up on that if it I mean, if I was losing $75 a year, I can understand. I mean, if you're if your family is losing 75, you're going to be in debt. I mean, pretty quick. If you're losing 750,000, you I mean, unless you're Riggs, you might as well mail it in. But 75 billion a year. How how can we recover this? And where is the opportunity in the water space?
Riggs: Right. So here's the issue. First of all, let's recognize that 89% of the demand on the water systems is from industry and agriculture, not the people. When you hear about the droughts in California and the need to have short showers and so forth, that's only affecting 11% of the usage. The 89% is what really matters. Now, those roughly nine out of ten usage is really impacting the water districts. And they're not, they're just not set up for it. So that's a clue to the solution. The second part of it is that even if you had the money, where would you put these sewage plants? Right? There's all this NIMBY problems. There's no room. These are big systems. If they're not built now, they're not going to be built.
And thirdly is the amount of time it's going to take. Give you an example. Miami-dade County has over 100,000 septic tanks all over the county because they developed without a proper urban plan. And now those septic tanks are infecting the groundwater and making all kinds of terrible things happen. So they say, okay, we're going to build sewage lines out to all of these at a cost of $6 billion, which we don't have. Well, first of all, it's not going to cost $6billion, it'll cost 16. And it will take 20 years of streets being torn up and so forth. That leads you to the solution, which is why not just do a rebate program for these individual sites to become self-sufficient for water treatment? And you've solved the problem in a matter of months. And that is the dream and the reality of decentralized water.
Kelly: So help me with this Riggs because I mean, now when I say this is going to be a broad statement and some people are going to be like, Well, but you're truly living in my head the American dream. The reason why I say, is because you were doing something at a very high level and you've been very, very successful in past careers. And then you found something that your heart was completely locked into. Talk to us about that jump, Right. Because you were in different industries before you started in this. And this is something that obviously is going to be beneficial financially. But the first part of it is that you are actually solving a problem that you're seeing and that your heart is in. Can you talk about that?
Riggs: Well, actually, I went into this space kicking and screaming. And the reason is that, first of all, I loved high tech. I, from starting in the eighties onward, I just I love the speed of high tech. I loved when the dot com came along. I was like, yeah, I had some great liquidity, you know, where you jump into a company five months later, you just get sold like, thank you very much, that kind of stuff. And so you get spoiled really by the speed at which these things move. Early 2000s. I was in a company that I helped take public. I was the number two, got it onto the Nasdaq, but in the process I was dissatisfied with the bones of the company.
I felt that it was not going to succeed long term and sure enough, it did not. And I decided, you know what, I need to become a CEO myself. To be kind of to determine my own fate. And that's when I called up a fund. And these good friends of mine, now, they were friends of their great friends. I said, you know, I want to be a CEO. And they said, Yeah, we think you can be, but we're not doing tech anymore. We're doing green. This is 2006. So Green was like all the rage. You know, only later did we did we ask people, did you ever make money in green? No, never made money in green.
But nonetheless, it was the thing. And and they said, we think there's a future in algae for biofuels. And why? Because petroleum is only out as fossilized algae. It's what it is, right? So it's not dinosaurs. There were not enough dinosaurs to make all the oil in the world. It's these giant deposits of algae that grew. You know, we had at one time 30% CO2 in the world and the algae grew to suck that up and we ended up at 0.001, whatever it was, and that made this planet livable. Now that algae, of course, now is fossilized and it's being burnt and of course we got this big CO2 problem.
They felt, and this is true, that if you make petroleum today from algae that you grow, then it's a, it's a balance. You don't, you don't have carbon penalty, it's a carbon, it's you. It gives you about as much. In other words, it absorbs as much carbon as it uses. So it's carbon neutral. And so you've got a new fuel that can replace fossil fuels because look at it this way. What have we got right now? We have cars with engines. So the natural thing is to do something that's plug compatible with the existing systems. And that was the dream at the time. Well, I'll tell you, I had a lot of fun with that because we called ourselves OriginOil at the time, the original oil, algae being the original oil.
And I was on Varney on Fox called me. "I'll call you algae man." You know all that. It was so much fun. And then the oil industry discovered fracking and the price of oil went from $120 a barrel, and remember, this is early 2000s, down to as low as $35. And all of a sudden algae became, I like to say, a science experiment. And I had a public company. Like, okay, there's no option of running a science experiment. That's not going to work. Ultimately. And there's a long story, but basically we took our technology for pulling algae out of the water. Algae harvesting, that was our specialty into pulling the sewage out of the water. And that became our play.
We ended up in the water industry. And that was a cold shock because the water industry, first of all, nobody notices it. It's not sexy. I was I'm visiting Fast Company in New York and I'm talking about water and sewage. And she's like, Oh, God, kill me now, you know? She was like, okay, I don't get it. I just don't get it. So everybody thinks water is important, but they don't want to be they don't want to know about the details of sewage.
It's not, just not part of your your excitement. You get more excited about making sourdough. So what I had to do was, first of all. Figure out how to get visibility for the company, because that's my number one job, is to get a company that really resonates and has a mission that excites people and so forth. But underlying that is, what is a genuine problem in the water industry. And it's the fact that, it's kind of like frozen in amber. Ching, there it is and everything's fine, no problem. Except it's not doing its job.
In the world, 80% of all the sewage is not treated at all. Which means it all goes into the rivers, oceans, groundwater. It's just horrible. Right now in the US, it's not as bad, but still we have a problem. And I just saw the lower Hackensack River in New Jersey was declared a one of America's most polluted rivers again. And so we have more than 100 rivers that are terribly polluted in America. And this is 2022. I mean, come on. This is ridiculous, right? So we have a lot of disconnect between, people think things are fine and they're not. So the next question is what to do about it? And I've spent years getting there, and I'm glad to tell you that we figure something out.
Kelly: So Riggs help me with this because I think a lot of times when when we speak on a global part, then there will be the people who are like, "Well, it doesn't affect my region." When we speak on a regional part, people say, "Well, it doesn't affect me locally." Then if we talk on a local sense, they're like, "Well, it doesn't affect my family." Then if we talk about family, they're like, "It doesn't really hit me personally." Can you can you take us down that rabbit hole to help us to understand what don't, let's start off with the, the globally part. What don't we understand? Like as a, as a person? Because again, I mean, I find it's November 8th. People are voting today and a lot of people are like, "I mean, I live in X and you know, my vote doesn't really count." It's not. And I find that we as Americans, a lot of times take on that thought process. What don't we let's start it off. What don't we know globally?
Riggs: Take a lot for granted. First of all, globally, you know, the 6000 kids die every single day in the world from water, Right? Over a billion people suffer from water related illnesses, mainly diarrhea, is just, that's a terrible stat. That's, there's only 8 billion people in the world and a significant number of them at any given moment are getting water poisoning. So that's not good. But there's, there's bigger problems. For example, we have a lot of industrial products in the water in America. We I like to say that the water, the tap water won't kill you right away, meaning that it's not, it's not going to give you typhus or whatever, but it does have a lot of chemicals in it and the laws are way out of date.
So looking at a global level, first of all, most of the world, when you think about the third world, doesn't have sewage systems at all. I mean, nothing. In India, you have ten, 20,000 people a year die just who are from sewage gases. They're literally trying to dig out the sewage from the pipes. It's just horrendous. So they there's a problem. It's very similar to, think about when Africa was didn't yet have phone systems and the challenge was, well, we're going to put landlines all over Africa. Well, it never happened. We went straight to cell phone. Similar thing here.
We don't we lack the infrastructure that we built in America, built in Europe, but it doesn't exist in the rest of the world. So the solution is to, for the rest of the world to adopt a much more distributed model, very similar to the cell phone idea. And guess what? America also needs it because in the hundred years since we've built our infrastructure, it's fallen apart and now we need to go ahead and adopt the same solution, which in fact we're doing with, again, communications where Africa got way ahead in terms of cell phone. And today America is catching up with, landlines are almost gone. I mean, I challenge anyone to have much of a landline anymore. And, you know, the plain old telephone system really runs on the Internet anyway.
Kelly: So my daughter is going to argue with you on that one because she watches Stranger Things and all she wants is a phone that's plugged into the wall. My daughter is 13 years old and she's like, That's what I want. Dad, I'm so excited to show her this and show her. Uncle Riggs told her that that's obsolete now. So I'm going to play the devil's advocate here. Okay, Riggs, I hear you. At 6000 people. There's problems in India. Riggs. I live in America. Regionally, it doesn't really affect me. Hit me with it.
Riggs: Go to the website EWG dot org. The Environmental Working Group. Slash tap water and putting your zip code. Find out what your water is, what's in your water, and you will be astonished. What you'll find is that your water is fully compliant with federal law. I mean, our miscible water district managers are not doing a bad job, but the standards are so far out of date that your levels of arsenic, uranium, you name it, are much higher than science has told us they need to be. So the law is way behind the science and you should not drink tap water long term.
Now, that's not a problem for you and me. We go ahead and we build. We buy a system. It's done. But many, many people can't afford their own water system. Right. Plus, I'll tell you who is really vulnerable to tap water is our pets. Our pets drink the tap water and there's a lot of hormones in the tap water and then they suffer. So it's not okay to have drugs, hormones, toxins in the tap water. It's not okay to have what's called glyphosate, which is the roundup. You know, I went ahead and invested in a showerhead that, that filters out the glyphosate.
Who does that? Nobody. Right. So you take it for granted. You can just shower in the water. Well, your body absorbs X amount of gallons of water in the process of showering. It's like a quart or whatever it is. I forget what it is. But the point is, is your skin absorbs that stuff and it's got. Usually this is tap water that you're using. So what I'm saying is this affects us right at home. Secondly, if we look at a lot of this 26 million septic tanks in America and the number is growing, why? Because Americans are moving to the country and they're putting in septic tanks.
Those things, great percentage of those leak leak into the groundwater. Something like 100,000 viral diseases and a couple hundred thousand bacterial diseases in America come from the septic infiltration into our water systems. So there's a number of things. Let's take California. California is so virtuous, Right? But do you know that in California, the oil producers in Kern County, which is the highest producing oil county in America, even ahead of Texas, they're allowed to dump their produced water into the ground untreated. And when, nd wae were personally involved with this a few years ago, we were trying to help with that, and we were making headway. Why?
Because a a an NGO had sued and won a judgment that said that the co op, it's called Valley Water, that does all the water treatment, quote unquote, water treatment for the 55 oil producers in Kern County, that Valley Water had to clean up its act. And it was a disaster. They brought us in to do it, something about it. But then soon after that, Jerry Brown, the environmental governor, with the stroke of his pen, wavered the entire oil industry and said, "No, you can keep on doing what you're doing." The result of this is that every single aquifer in California is polluted with hydrocarbons. It's just how it is, right? So, we have, the more you dig, the more you'll find that there are really not good problems. And that's true of most industries. But water affects us deeply. We are made up of water and it's essential that we do something about it. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Kelly: So Riggs help me with this too. So for all of you who just were listening to that, number one, all of you go out and get a showerhead that is going to filter out. So we're going to put a link. We're going to put a link in the bio today. We're going to do that. The other one is, I'm going to, Riggs, I'm going to have you send me the that link as far as being able to check your zip code. We're going to put that also because we want to have these things to be able to do. The challenge that I have with you, man, you're telling me that I've got to have some bottled water for my dog, dude, Like I drink Carlsbad water, which I think is the greatest. Why is gypsy water? I don't know what's in it, but it tastes real good. Riggs And if you live in Carlsbad, California, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The greatest water in the world. Am I safe? Am I safe with my Carlsbad? Don't tell me my don't don't poo poo on on my Carlsbad water. Where am I at? Riggs. Am I good?
Riggs: Hey, listen, I could put your zip code in right now when we're talking, I could tell you what it is, but I don't. I don't want to depress you too much. Here's the story. No, don't give your dog bottled water. Bottled water sucks. What? What we did in our home was very simple. We put in the full dress thing in our under our sink, which is reverse osmosis, carbon filters, remineralizer, the whole trip. This is ultra pure water, for drinking at our kitchen sink.
Riggs: For the whole condo, we put in a 0.2 micron filtering system. It's pretty decent. It doesn't. It takes out a bunch of stuff and that, your dog can drink that, it's fine. Or give you a dog the under sink stuff that's ultra pure, fine. And then we put in, as I said, those, those showerheads for taking out the roundup, which my doctor I've got a very good holistic doctor, so you've got to get this. So I don't know, in 20 years they'll make a difference, I guess. But that's the thing I think, Kelly, is that people don't see an immediate problem that doesn't kill me today. So I got much bigger problems. I got the cost of gasoline, I got the da da da da.
Riggs: So people don't worry about it so much. But it's relatively simple to do if you have the money. If you don't have the money, that's that's where the problem comes in. And have you noticed that a lot of the water disasters have occurred in low income areas? Flint's, Jackson, Compton. Why? It's because the water that gets to these communities goes through hops, it goes through resellers. It goes origin. Later, later, later, later, later. It gets more expensive and it gets lower quality. And so it's weird, but the lower income neighborhoods actually have the biggest problems and the least served. And I think in today's America, that is a scandal.
End of presentation
He's a great interviewer because he is one cool dude, as you could tell. You know why he's in the top 1% of all podcast. You just he's so engaging. And we got into some very, very personal deep stuff and I'll just feed it to you little by little each week. It's going to be a lot of fun.
With that, I want to welcome Mr. Ken Berenger. So obviously the big story we can't talk about, which is this whole SPAC thing, what we've said, what we allowed to say. And that's it. And. What can I say? But what was interesting about this is, is I was watching in a fresh opportunity to watch the shows tonight, and what really strikes home is that, the whole idea of businesses taking responsibility for their water treatment is a reality. It is happening and it is real reasons for it. It is a real trend. And that, you know, as you remember, well, you don't remember, but you know that back in 2016, I was like a voice in the wilderness.
Ken: Mm hmm. Decentralized water what? Yeah. Right.
Riggs: Yeah. So in 2018 you came along and still it was like, Yeah, whatever. There was Dan Early came in and he was a veteran. Now people get it. It's gratifying.
Ken: Truthfully, also, I think cryptocurrency actually created a massive amount of education about what decentralization actually is.
Riggs: Don't talk to me about crypto.
Ken: I know. I listen. Okay. So I bought, I bought a couple of those condos and I had to give them all my accounts data and I looked at it and I went, "Oh my God." I was just like, I haven't even looked and I was just like, "Oh, I shouldn't have done that." Anyway. So the decentralization now is what mainstream America does understand to a large extent. I still believe, and when I, when I talk to investors and say, "Look, this is going to, this has a, this has a royalty bearing utility, private utility feel to it.
But the way it rolls out globally, what cell phones did was they made them accessible and affordable to everyone by packaging the equipment cost inside the monthly bill. Right. So 30 years ago, 5% of us had cell phones because they were just too damn expensive. Right. If I told you 30 years ago that a 16 year old girl living in Morocco was going to have an iPhone, a $1,000 iPhone in her pocket, you would have thought it was absolutely ludicrous. Yet here we are.
So our rollout of what we're doing will really feel like the cell phone revolution, because what are we doing? We're being we're creating hubs that will handle these things in local, local areas. And then you're connecting it through something that also didn't exist back then, which is fintech. Right? But and you're making so. So again, going back to the cell phone, it's $1000 phone. But all I know is I'm paying $150 bill, Right? So I don't care. It's that OpEx thing right? Now. $100 of it, 100 of it is the phone. But I don't care. Right. So that's what, that's how we're getting this with Water On Demand. It's really just it's making it accessible and affordable to everyone. And I would, and I and I say this to people, the difference between this and cell phones is, is the water industry by size is, I would say what, an order of I magnitude, just a multiple, is much, much larger and and provably more more vital to human health.
Riggs: Yes. And I want to quickly address some of what's coming up in comments. Our major supporter, Janet Winkelman has a couple of points to make. [Bill Lucas,] "Have you thought about helping the wine industry as they are considered non-essential agriculture that needs large amounts of water?" And the answer is that we have our fingers in the beverage industry, which is actually very good for this Water On Demand thing, primarily within with breweries right now, but wine is on the table. Janet Winkelman: "Fast tract wastewater project urgent requests are three year projects. You can do this much quicker." You know, Janet, you're absolutely right. This there's two issues here.
The first one is we can speed up the, how fast things are done, but they still have to be built just like building a house. But here's where we're scaling. We're operating at the level of Water On Demand, and we want to create a network of Water On Demand correspondents, shall we say, of centers of financing in Dubai and Singapore and Tokyo, etc., that then do the water as a service stuff for their local area with their local investors. And we think that's where the power of the network is now. Yes, stuff gets built below that, but it happens when it happens. You saw, you know, the pipe bending stuff that goes on. It is what it is, right? It's a mechanical, electrical and plumbing type engineering, MEP, and that's how it works. So the point I'm making is that we're going to make a revolution, I believe, by operating at the fintech level and creating a fintech network.
Ken: Moving at the speed of fintech, not at the speed of water.
Riggs: I like that. We're going to wrap up.
Ken: And I would say is go to Oc.gold/ken. Just click on my calendar through this journey with us. We could be at a major, major pivot point and I can spend some time with you at least giving you the general idea of what we're doing. I think you'll be really, really excited and happy about the direction that we're now able to take this.
Riggs: In fact, Gene Tully says, "Clever. Keep that man around." So.
Ken: Thank you. Me too. I get coffee and everything. Okay?
Riggs: Yeah. Yeah. Coffee.
Ken: Yea, Coffee, right.
Riggs: So it was a good little show. Thank you very much, everyone. It was a great pleasure. I hope to be able to tell you more about this mystery thing of ours that's going on in coming weeks. We'll just see more than that. But we're having a fun time. This is this is a good time to be in water. Thank you all. Thank you, Ken.
Ken: You're very welcome. Have a great evening.
Riggs: Tom Liakos says, "Thank you." And thank you, sir. Have a great night and a great weekend, all.