Throughout my career, I have worked for the some of the largest, most powerful water technology companies in the world. Always with the larger companies I often found myself at odds for how they wanted to proceed with customers, and how I wanted to proceed. Because of my background in the medical field, my training has always been to do what is best for the patient, the customer, in individual, and not what is best for the bottom line of the corporation. My belief is that if one does what is best for the client, in the long-run this will be best for business.
Not implying immorality, it is important to remember that when we deal with most providers of water technology, their solutions are generally going to be skewed towards the particular technology they are selling. Now, I have no issue with this when a company is in a competitive selling mode, trying to help an individual industrial customer. Everyone sells what they have, regardless of whether it is a car, a suit or a water system. Ethics should apply here, too, but don’t always.
Where I have a real problem though, is when powerful water technology companies with recognizable brand names get involved with solving the world’s water issues. Frankly, I don’t believe that any of these types of companies will sell themselves short, or recommend someone else’s technology even though doing so may be better for the customer, community or even environment.
I recently read an article that documented the goings on at a large, well-attended water reuse conference that was hosted by a major institution of education and one of the largest water technology companies. A few thoughts reached out an slapped me into an angered state.
One of the drivers for the summit was a UN dictate that proclaimed 1.2 billion people live where water is scarce, and 1.6 billion live where infrastructure is poor. However, as you follow the article what you encounter is a litany of corporate blowhards extolling the virtues of their water conservation and reuse technologies. Nowhere in the article or in the summit notes could I see any discussions about how to relieve the shortage and the over-crowding.
The “Summit” you see, was nothing more than a big sales pitch. A high-tech Home Shopping Network exercise in selling the public more garbage, under the guise of making lives better. You see, these large corporations are not spending money on stopping the world-wide water crises, but instead on how to capitalize from those who do suffer problems.
Had I pulled the summit together, all of the info sharing would have been focused on how to stop the problems cited in the UN dictate. As I have said before. Conservation will not solve the world’s water problems.