In reaction to the challenges resulting from climate change, Riggs Eckelberry, founder and CEO of water technology company OriginClear Inc. (OTC Pink: OCLN), aims to be a key player in finding a solution for the global water crisis. By decentralizing the water treatment infrastructure, he believes outsourced water programs can help us boost our water recycling while ensuring clean water solutions for all.
The Florida-based company with manufacturing operations in Texas leads the self-reliant water revolution by democratizing water investment and commercializing advanced systems for faster sanitation. Looking to achieve a higher purpose in the water space, the company was inspired by Eckelberry’s mission to save the planet.
Creating a different culture in the water industry
“I got involved in the nonprofit space early on. For about a decade of my professional life, I was working for almost nothing, just dedicating myself to trying to change the world. That changed in the early 80s when I started working to change conditions using technology and commerce,” he shares.
Since then, Eckelberry has confronted the water industry’s greatest issues with qualified members by his side. “In the history of my company, we’ve probably had 30 people come and go over the last 14 years. Today, we have some key people and I don’t feel the need to recruit a lot,” he states. The result? An efficient team that is always improving.
As a key role in the company, Eckelberry found disruption early in his career and still does today. “Disruption for me started in the high-tech industry, which is where I worked in the 80s and 90s; but it’s now spread to all markets. I don’t think there’s any market where you can just go work for a company, stay for your whole career, retire, and get your gold watch. That’s gone. We live in an atmosphere of constant change. I certainly have learned that I have to be highly impactful of the status quo to survive and prosper at this point,” he shares. This now applies to the water space that continues to be an issue for users today.
Building “Water Company 2.0,” Eckelberry and OriginClear look to be the agent for clients who have changed from being municipal to primarily business customers. “The water industry is slow-moving, and that is not what the world needs. All over the world, we’re seeing major water issues both with water cleanliness and also water supply, with droughts and floods. We need to create a different culture in the water industry. There is very fast-moving change happening and there are many embedded problems in the water space. So we just have no choice but to get into rapid change,” he adds. While it can be hard, Eckelberry believes there is no other alternative to solving these issues.
A case for world water markets
Looking forward, Eckelberry intends to use innovative technology and financing opportunities to create world water markets. “The breakdown of central systems, caused by decades of underfunding, is driving the decentralization of water. More and more, water is being treated at the point of use, which means it can be recycled too,” he shares.
This points to the need for finance that is emerging within the water space. “Strangely, our space hasn’t had this ability for everyday investors to get involved, so we’re creating that right now. What’s even better, is we’re also tying in some blockchain technology to make it happen more efficiently so when investors get the payouts, they can get them in the form of a cryptocurrency or digital currency that can be swapped, which may eventually lead to a market. If everything is done on the blockchain in terms of payments and involving our ordinary investors in funding water projects, I think we’re going to see a lot of good come out of that,” he adds.
Shifting perceptions and the future of water
Although these efforts are a process in the making, Eckelberry and his team at OriginClear continue to push and provide pre-funded water equipment for customers. By shifting the perception of water, providing reliable solutions to properly treat it, and aggregating the proper financing to make high-impact projects a reality, Eckelberry is one step close to his mission of tackling the global water crisis and making the planet a better place.
Melissa Moraes is a freelance writer covering startups, socially responsible brands, and the newest trends in the world around us. Based in South Florida, she enjoys sunny beach days and motorcycle rides in her spare time.
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