Water Impact

How to design a business model for water with maximum impact

The JUST model for water valuation was designed to support the community while protecting the water in the process. When we created a new business around responsible water sourcing, we were able to use the excess water to save itself and more. Here is how it works:

Raquette River in the Adirondacks Mountains

Creation of a sustainable water model through value creation

With the state of water in the world today with scarcity, infrastructure issues, and political complexity, real innovation around water use is needed.

There are however, many areas throughout the U.S. which have a tremendous amount of excess water. This water sits in reservoirs as a high-value commodity.

Our approach creates a new model which creates high value with efficiency and conservation as fundamental tenets.

“When we set out to find a community to partner with, one of the top criteria was water scarcity / impact. Creating a new value model for drinking water begins with putting excess water to work”

Jim Siplon – Operations and Water management.

Redesign the model for valuing water responsibly

JUST pays six times more than any other water user in the city. Over the next 3-5 years we have projected to create over 1 million dollars of new and needed revenue for Glens Falls.

What makes this model even more relevant is that it raises deeper understanding of a growing issue facing drinking water in cities nationally and globally. The U.S. EPA projects it will cost almost $384 billion over the next 20 years to maintain the nation’s existing drinking water infrastructure.

Expanding drinking water systems to handle population growth, replacing pipes and adding treatment plants put a lot of pressure on cities and towns. Take New York, for example, where many of its pipes are a century old or older. Made from cast iron, the pipes were built to last 100 years, but freeze and thaw conditions from tough winters accelerate their deterioration. They need attention for the safety of public drinking water.

Cities and states are faced with other costs like pensions, health care, social services and debt. Rethinking the way we use and sell water creates more impact around both conservation, efficiency and repair.

This revised model can actually raise a community’s water level

Using Glens Falls as an example, here is what we mean:

These are actual images of the original Glens Falls water system being installed in the 1800s when cast iron pipes were being installed in many cities across the Northeast and eventually the country.

Many of these century old pipes are still in use. They are outdated, leaking and inefficient. Of the 1.3 billion gallons the city uses each year only about 800 million gallons make it the 5 mile journey to the city. The rest escapes and is wasted. Here is where the problem is:

This is not unique to Glens Falls or a result of poor leadership over the years. It’s a problem many small towns face as a result of challenging economic circumstances and more pressing needs for their tight funds.

By creating a new, water-based revenue stream, JUST water drives money towards infrastructure repairs.

Commercializing the city’s water fairly can actually raise the watershed level. Repairing the infrastructure can drop the number of gallons down to under a billion.

Better for everyone means available to everyone

Because of this new approach to water sourcing, we needed to create a new agreement model. We set out and created a clear and open document from which others could also follow and create their own responsible business partnership.
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