10 questions with Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginClear

10 questions with Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginClear

1) How can people ensure their homes are using water efficiently?

Riggs Eckelberry: There are a number of things one can do, such as ensuring they have no leaky faucets or pipes with regular maintenance, having drought-tolerant plants that require less water, investing in a pool cover to reduce evaporation and in turn reducing refill water, and installing water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and toilets. A combination of these and similar actions can have an overall positive impact on water efficiency at a residential level.

2) Is there an ideal way to irrigate home gardens? 

RE: An excellent form of irrigation is a drip irrigation system. These are very efficient systems that use less water, are run by timer, and thus save money. The absolute ideal would be to have a home greywater recycling system, which takes water from places like kitchen sinks and showers, cleans it, and can then repurpose it for some types of irrigation. Very cool little systems!

3) How can drought conscious households monitor water usage? 

RE: Drought-conscious households can invest in a water monitoring system, which are very handy for locating leaks and other instances where water may be getting wasted. Some such systems can even alert you in real time via your smartphone so that you are always know on how and when water is being used at your home, thus enabling you to address any issues quickly.

4) What is the number one thing municipalities need to consider about their water usage?

RE: We simply aren’t recycling enough water. The US recycles less than 1% of its waste water, which is an absolute scandal. Central systems are designed to send water on a one-way flow. Essentially the water comes into your home or business, gets sent to the local water treatment plant where it’s treated, and then it sends that treated water back off into the ocean. It doesn’t go back to your home or business for reuse. This is a massive flaw in centralized infrastructure – one that would be very hard to fix now that cities are so built up. The more we treat this water right at the point where it’s dirtied, both to lessen the burden on central infrastructure and to recycle it, the better off we will be.

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5) How is agricultural irrigation modernizing? 

RE: Efforts are being made to increase efficiency, reliability, increase energy generation (such as with hydropower), and to reduce operation and maintenance costs. If we can implement systems to recycle and reuse waste water, we can make agricultural irrigation far better for this planet.

6) How can farms increase efficiency in water usage? 

RE: The more farms implement technologies to treat and recycle their own waste water, the further their water will go and thus they will become far more efficient. This also reduces impact on the local environment and infrastructure, which is underfunded and overwhelmed.

7) How affordable is water filtration for retail businesses?

RE: It depends on the size of the retail business. If a storefront, it might be only a few thousand dollars. On the other hand, we provide ultra-pure whole-hotel water purification for well under 6 figures for a luxury hotel.

8) How large of an event can run off of mobile water systems? 

RE: The best comparison is to one of our mobile containerized military systems which can treat about 12,500 gallons per day. That would take care of the human waste created by more than 300 persons living around the clock. For a daytime event, that might accommodate perhaps two thousand people.

9) How can industry manage water usage sustainably? 

RE: 84% of the world's freshwater is consumed by and polluted by agriculture and industry. The more we implement filtration and recycling systems right where the water is dirtied, the more water we will save, as well as lessening the burden on central infrastructure. This is why many businesses are taking matters into their owns hands by treating and recycling their waste water. In some cases, the cities are telling them “Sorry, we can’t take your water,” and forcing them to treat it themselves. They simply cannot handle the level of effluent that, say, a brewery might produce. Unfortunately, many companies lack the capital to do this. Our revolutionary, investor-funded Water On Demand™ initiative is allowing companies to simply pay on the meter for only the water they use without any upfront capital. This is truly beneficial for us all, and I am very proud to be part of it.

10) How can people lessen impact on the water system?

RE: While the bulk of water consumption and pollution falls on agriculture and industry, we can work toward implementing practices that reduce our water consumption as mentioned above. Ultimately, the more we can treat and recycle our water at any level, the better. Even if we cannot do it ourselves, we can encourage local industry and agriculture to do so, and we can consider investing in such projects.

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