By Donald A. Mounce

All societies and cultures love buzzwords—they define what is the newest, the hottest and the best in our media savvy world that drives humanity to previously unreached levels of achievement. One of the latest and popular buzzwords to hit the water treatment and purification marketplace has been ‘water harvesting.’

The term easily gets everyone’s attention. And that concept continues to grow, as both environmentalists and water experts love the concept of fresh and ‘green’ innovation.

As this month’s “Flowing Issues” column points out, from industry expert Gary Battenberg, it is certainly not a new idea. It is a nostalgic return to simpler times that somehow got abandoned by cultured segments of the world whose technology carried them theoretically forward.

Battenberg’s research also indicates that it has long been a staple of certain societies around the globe, ranging from remote tribal villages in Africa and South America to urban centers in Australia and Europe. All of these areas were smart enough long ago to realize that sometimes technology cannot beat Mother Nature and old-fashioned common sense.

So, what does that mean for the basic water dealer and distributor? Many have learned long ago to filter out much of these buzzwords, as they often don’t equate to business.

If you have not been paying attention to water harvesting as a lesson in business profitability, you need to come in out of the rain (pun intended!). It may be the best innovation and potential profit center to come along in years for water dealers in much of the urbanized world that left the concept behind.

Installing water harvesting tanks, filtration and purification systems and even distribution systems should be a great avenue for success and profitability in your future business plans. But don’t turn the design of this re-evolution over to governmental bureaucrats, many of whom are already on their way to establishing rules and regs that will potentially affect your business and customers.

The home city of WC&P in sunny Tucson, AZ has received substantial publicity as it is on the forefront of new water harvesting laws. Such laws in Tucson and elsewhere are undoubtedly being designed and implemented with little or no input from water industry professionals.

So don’t be surprised if you run across illogical concepts with which you can’t live. Whether large city or small, take the time now to go to city hall and talk to someone in your municipal zoning and building department.

Make sure they understand the reality of what needs to be done to make this a palatable transition into some neighborhoods and a viable option for new construction. Ensure this is a true public-private partnership for the benefit of your community and your business.

Don’t just wake up later when the buzzword becomes reality and wonder what happened. Technology, even when it returns to the old ways, moves too quickly.


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