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🗣️ "Calling Time on Water’s Echo Chamber"

The Stream

Photo by Imani / Unsplash

Hosts: Will Sarni & Tom Freyberg
Guest: Alex Crowell | Managing Director | PureTerra Ventures
Category: 🗣️ Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[4:12] “[…] You go to one [water] conference and the people that are on the panels, the next conference [they are] in the crowd and the people that were in the crowd before they're now down on the panels. So it's kind of just a merry go round of the same people talking about the same things. […] In my opinion […] the way that things are, it's a broken system, the echo chamber, […] the same people trying to fix the same problems. It's got to get outside of what I call the water sphere and get more out into the public of […] really what's coming at us [in] the next 15, 20 years with water issues around the world. […] That's exactly why PureTerra Ventures exists and why we invest in water.”

[6:18] “What catches my eye, is the massive lack of investment in water globally or the ability to raise money to invest. […] Just to use a couple of quick examples, […] when […] we started PureTerra Ventures in Europe, there's an organization, GIIN […] (Global Impact Investing Network), and we signed up. […] So we walked in there and it was like talking to a wall. Every seat that was taken up, there were 1500 people, every seat had billions […] under management and just looking, talking about ways to invest in impact and water wasn't one of them.”

[8:27] “I think a grand experiment is really due [for example] when […] people wake up in the morning, maybe we just shut the water off for a while. […] It's all taken for granted.”

[31:29] “When people look for areas of where to live, they search on Google Maps in terms of access from roads, schools. […] Imagine, that's actually going to become a part of where people choose to live based on the water quality.

[32:20] “[T]he big word for me is decentralized in terms of where I'm seeing innovation. So to kind of get communities access to water and sanitation, beyond installing centralized enormous infrastructure and kilometers of pipeline, [but through] decentralized innovation, […] whether that's atmospheric water generation [or] novel business models around water kiosks that can use mobile phone, payment, and security. So I really think that kind of decentralized treatment, security, adding the data element to it, there's going to be more innovation around that. And I really think that's going to be a core part of the puzzle to get us to hopefully anywhere near the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal.”

[36:22] “Industry used to screw 70% of the water up. […] Industry was where agriculture is now. […] It was just the big blind eye [and] nobody did anything. And I mean, that went on for decades, but they finally got their arms around that and I really believe agriculture is next. […] And there's hardly any innovation or step changes to what's possible there.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 40 min | 🗓️ 04/22/2021
✅ Time saved: 38 min

Additional Links:
Water Foundry