23 episodes

From policy to profit, Liquid Assets uncovers the business and technological implications of water in a changing world.

Liquid Assets Ravi Kurani

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

From policy to profit, Liquid Assets uncovers the business and technological implications of water in a changing world.

    Water Treatment: Insights from Chris Morrison

    Water Treatment: Insights from Chris Morrison

    In the ever-evolving world of water treatment, innovation is the driving force behind efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. This captivating episode of the Liquid Assets podcast takes listeners on a remarkable journey through the lens of industry veteran Chris Morrison, exploring his illustrious career spanning decades at Nalco (now part of Ecolab) and his current role as the founder of Morrison Water.

    From his early days at Nalco, where he championed groundbreaking technologies like reverse osmosis to drive significant energy and water savings, to his strategic account management approach that forged long-term partnerships with corporate clients worldwide, Chris shares his wealth of knowledge and experience. His insights shed light on the evolving landscape of water treatment, including the pressing challenge of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination and the critical need for effective remediation technologies.

    Whether you're a water professional, industry stakeholder, or simply curious about the future of water treatment, this podcast episode offers a captivating exploration of the key trends, innovations, and sustainability initiatives shaping the industry. Join Ravi Kurani and Chris Morrison as they delve into the quest for efficient, cost-effective solutions to the world's water challenges, including novel chemistries, sensors, membranes, and cutting-edge water treatment approaches. Don't miss this opportunity to gain invaluable insights from a true pioneer in the field.

    What you'll hear in this Water Treatment episode:


    How Nalco (now Ecolab) pioneered water efficiency and scale management solutions for manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s.
    Veteran water expert Chris Morrison's journey from Nalco to founding Morrison Water - lessons and advice spanning decades in the industry
    The revolutionary impact of reverse osmosis membranes and Morrison's role in driving adoption for energy and water savings.
    Insights into strategic water treatment account management for long-term corporate partnerships and tailored solutions globally.
    Emerging innovations in water treatment like novel chemistries, IoT sensors, and advanced membrane technologies for sustainability.
    The widespread PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contamination challenge and need for effective remediation technologies

    Chris recommends you read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

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    • 43 min
    Harvesting Sky Water

    Harvesting Sky Water

    "Every great movement must experience three stages "ridicule, discussion, and adoption". And right now, when it comes to harvesting invisible water from the sky, we are at the early stage"

    What if we could harvest an unlimited supply of water from the sky itself, then purify and recycle it in a constant loop? On this mind-expanding episode of Liquid Assets, Professor Jeffrey Langholz shares his radical vision for solving the global water crisis through the ultimate decentralized system.

    Langholz is a professor at the Middlebury Institute who has spent over 20 years studying sustainable management of precious natural resources like water, forests and fisheries worldwide. He paints a compelling picture of why our current centralized, pipeline-based model of water distribution is unsustainable across economic, environmental and social dimensions. But a local, circular model of pulling water from the air and continuously recycling it could mitigate crises like scarcity, pollution and climate impacts.

    His bold four-part framework revolves around the Passive collection from rain, fog and dew, Active harvesting using atmospheric generators, Purifying graywater from sinks and laundry and Recycling blackwater from toilets. Langholz details cutting-edge examples of these technologies being piloted globally, from solar-powered generators to office towers recycling their wastewater.

    He draws insightful parallels to how other utilities like electricity, telecoms and entertainment inevitably transitioned from centralized to decentralized, consumer-level systems. Is water simply the next utility ripe for that disruptive shift? While the idea may sound far-fetched today, so did concepts like streaming movies or ordering an Uber from your phone not long ago.

    Whether you find Langholz's ideas ridiculous or inspiring, this fascinating discussion will make you rethink humanity's ancient relationship with our most precious resource. Join us for a glimpse of a future where households and businesses could be self-sustaining water microgrids - a bold new paradigm as revolutionary as any other game-changing technology.

    What you'll learn in this episode:


    The Unsustainability of Our Current Water Systems: Why centralized water distribution is struggling on environmental, economic and social fronts.
    A Decentralized Model for Harvesting Skywater: The four pillars of Jeffrey's vision for hyper-local water collection, purification and recycling.
    Cutting-Edge Water Technologies: Real-world examples of fog harvesters, atmospheric generators, graywater recyclers and more.
    Parallels to Electricity, Telecoms and Movies Going Distributed: How water is following other disrupted utilities towards decentralization.

    Jeff recommends you read The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

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    • 55 min
    Water's History and Future

    Water's History and Future

    Water is the lifeblood of human civilization – yet its critical importance is often overlooked. In this thought-provoking episode of Liquid Assets, host Ravi Kurani has an in-depth discussion with Peter Gleick about humanity’s past, present and future relationship with that precious resource.

    Peter is co-founder of the Pacific Institute and author of “The Three Ages of Water,” a sweeping look at how water enabled the growth of early agricultural societies, and led to major infrastructure in the industrial age, but also unintended consequences like pollution and scarcity. He argues we’re at a crossroads where solutions exist to major crises like persistent water poverty and ecological destruction, but lack the political will to implement them at scale towards a “third age” focused on efficiency and sustainability.

    Delving into his lifelong passion for environmental issues, Peter shares insights from decades of research on the inextricable links between water, climate, and society. He makes a compelling case that if we hope to build flourishing civilizations in the 21st century, we need a fundamentally more conscious and equitable approach to managing scarce freshwater resources. Tune in to hear solutions-focused ideas around everything from wastewater recycling to international governance reform. This is a clarion call to action for everyone from policymakers to scientists, business leaders, and citizens – our collective future depends on evolving our relationship with water.

    What you'll hear in this episode:


    The Three Ages of Water in Human History: Peter outlines his concept of the three ages of water spanning early agricultural societies, the modern industrial revolution, and a potential sustainable future.
    Water's Role in the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations: Peter explores how harnessing water resources enabled the growth of early empires in places like the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia.
    Unintended Consequences and Water Crises Today: Peter delves into major issues we now face including persistent water poverty, ecological destruction of rivers and wetlands, and conflicts driven by supplies.
    Optimistic Solutions for the Future: Peter argues solutions exist for major water crises, but lack the political will and institutions to implement them at scale towards a sustainable "Third Age."

    Peter recommends you watch the 1974 film Chinatown

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    • 37 min
    Recycling Water, Transforming Cities

    Recycling Water, Transforming Cities

    As global populations expand rapidly, water demand is projected to exceed supply by over 30% in 20 years. Yet today, just 5% of wastewater is recycled worldwide, representing a massive lost opportunity. In this episode of Liquid Assets, Aaron Tartakovsky explains how his startup Epic Cleantec aims to catalyze a “water reuse revolution” to close this gap.

    Sitting with host Ravi Kurani, Aaron highlights the antiquated, centralized approach that has dictated water infrastructure design for over 200 years. With global urbanization accelerating and climate impacts intensifying, he makes the case that we need to transition toward more decentralized, distributed systems. Epic deploys advanced filtration systems to capture and treat wastewater within residential and commercial buildings themselves. Listen in to learn how their localized treatment model allows for onsite water recycling rates upwards of 95% for non-potable reuses.

    Beyond water provision, Aaron discusses how Epic’s systems also recover nutrients and energy from wastewater through soil amendments and heat capture. Tune in to hear how smart science communication helps combat public perceptions around water reuse. By taking a systems approach to the built environment, Aaron aims to showcase how we can build resilience into our water systems to ensure adequate supply for all, despite the environmental changes ahead.

    What you'll hear in this episode:


    How decentralized water reuse systems can recycle over 95% of water within buildings themselves
    The case for transitioning from antiquated centralized infrastructure to distributed models
    How Epic's filtration process works to capture wastewater onsite and purify it for non-potable reuse
    The unexpected benefits: nutrient & soil recovery and heat recapture from drains
    The role of smart science communication to combat negative public perceptions
    How a water reuse approach builds resilience amidst climate pressures
    Why Aaron entered the industry lacking water expertise but found "naive" optimism to be an asset
    How to embrace imposter syndrome and get comfortable not knowing the answers
    How water infrastructure may transform by 2060 if decentralized systems scale

    Aaron recommends you read Water 4.0

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    • 44 min
    Industrial Water Sales with Chris Golden

    Industrial Water Sales with Chris Golden

    "Trust, understanding, and quality are the cornerstones of successful sales in the world of water testing"

    Exploring the intricacy of water treatment and customer engagement, this episode of Liquid Assets delves into the crucial role of technical expertise and relationship-building in navigating the complex waters of the water industry. Host Ravi Kurani engages with Chris Golden, Senior Director of Sales at Taylor Technologies, exploring his diverse experiences in the water industry. Golden recounts his journey from a chemical engineering graduate to a seasoned professional in industrial water treatment, sales, and marketing. His tenure at prominent companies like Ecolab, Nalco, and Taylor Technologies highlights his adeptness in aligning products and solutions with customer needs. Golden emphasizes the importance of customer understanding and trust in technical sales, advocating a consultative approach.

    Delving deeper, the conversation shifts to the specifics of water testing and treatment. Golden shares his in-depth knowledge of balancing water chemistry in various environments, from swimming pools to industrial settings. He underscores the significance of precise water testing in maintaining equipment health, ensuring public safety, and enhancing the effectiveness of chemical treatments. Golden’s blend of professional anecdotes and practical advice offers invaluable insights for entrepreneurs and professionals in the water industry, making this episode a must-listen.

    What you'll hear in this episode:


    Real-world Insights from Sales to Water Testing: Chris Golden recounts his career journey, reflecting on his evolution from a chemical engineering graduate to a leader in industrial water treatment and sales. He shares anecdotes from his experiences at various companies including Ecolab and Nalco.
    Deep Dive into Water Testing and Treatment: The conversation delves into the specifics of water testing and its critical role across different environments. Golden emphasizes the importance of precise water testing in maintaining equipment, ensuring safety, and optimizing chemical treatments.
    Golden's Approach to Technical Sales and Customer Engagement: Golden discusses the significance of understanding customers and building trust in technical sales, advocating for a consultative approach to aligning solutions with customer needs.
    Taylor Technologies' Impact and Quality: Golden highlights Taylor Technologies' reputation for quality in their products, explaining how this fosters customer trust and satisfaction.

    Chris recommends you read The 6 Types of Working Genius

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    • 42 min
    Decentralizing Water

    Decentralizing Water

    "How do we mass manufacture civilization? It's through figuring out how to build cities in chunks that are distinct modules, like cells in a body and that is what water decentralization is."

    Buckle up for a cerebral joyride stretching possibilities for water, technology, business and beyond. Our latest Liquid Assets features Dr. Michael Stanley Gallisdorfer known colloquially as MSG, whose innovative insights are reshaping our understanding of water's role in society and the economy. MSG's discussion with host Ravi Kurani focuses on the transformative potential of water as not only a vital resource but also as a catalyst for economic and environmental regeneration. His concepts of decentralized water systems and ecological engineering offer a provocative vision of a sustainable future.

    Delving deeper, MSG elaborates on the cutting-edge ideas of using water for carbon sequestration and biomaterial production. Our conversation is not just an exploration of technological advancements; it's a journey into a new paradigm where water becomes a key player in addressing global challenges. The episode promises to broaden your horizons, challenging conventional views and igniting a profound conversation about the essence and future of water in our lives.

    What you’ll hear in this episode:


    Water Freedom via Decentralization & Democratization: MSG explains how centralized water systems constrain freedom and shares his vision for modular, small-scale infrastructure enhancing choice.
    Hacking Ecosystems as Infrastructure: MSG introduces cutting-edge concepts like assistive ecology using technology to create cybernetic ecosystems that support human systems.
    Water as an Economic Medium: MSG makes the case for growing bioproducts in water to replace mining, unlocking a blue economy centered around aquatic resources.
    Optimizing for Edge Thinking: MSG analyzes how modern systems optimize for reliability and risk mitigation rather than creativity. He advocates embracing edges and uncertainty.

    MSG recommends you read ⁠Energy and Form: An Ecological Approach to Urban Growth by Knowles

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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Jonathan Steers ,

So interesting and diverse!

I have loved listening to Liquid Assets every couple weeks and learning so much about this interesting resource... The Sky Water episode blew me away! Really good Host as well!

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