Josiah Cox is the founder and president of Central States Water Resources. Central States Water Resources transforms how water utilities work by acquiring small, often non-compliant systems and then using expertise, technology, and innovation to quickly assess and turn them into reliable infrastructure.
I bet you've never heard of Central States Water Resources. Please don't get offended; I had never heard of the company either before my interview with Alex Loucopoulos (https://dww.show/the-3-painful-challenges-the-us-water-sector-desperately-needs-to-overcome/) on that microphone a bit over a year ago.
I did a little Google Trend exercise before recording: I've compared the occurrences of "American Water" and "Central States Water Resources" in search terms, and AW wins by a 99 to 1 score.
Now, I hear you rolling your eyes and telling me it's an absolutely unfair and non-sense comparison, and you're widely right. Yet, last year, Central States Water Resources completed 40% of the recorded M&A moves in water and wastewater utilities in the US.
Over less than a decade of existence, the company has been closing over 80 moves a year on average - which is far more than any other water or wastewater utility company in America.
So why does it fly under the radar? Well, simply because all of these systems are small, located in the states that rarely make the news, and aim to better the lives of communities, we all simply ignored they were such distressed about water.
There's a major difference, though, with the projects we discussed last week with Sean Davis (https://dww.show/how-to-actively-invest-philanthropy-and-save-the-water-world/). CSWR isn't a charity or philanthropy. It's a private company backed by Sciens Water (https://dww.show/how-does-maslow-explain-a-lot-of-americas-broken-water-economics/), and aiming to turn these non-compliant water systems not only into better, safe, and reliable services but also to make them profitable.
If you recall my discussions with Seth Siegel (https://dww.show/seth-siegel-50000-us-water-utilities-500-water-talks-5-decisive-truths/) and Trace Blackmore (https://dww.show/how-to-make-a-lonely-water-professionals-mentor-friend-and-caring-colleague/) some weeks ago, 85% of American utilities have three or fewer employees. This means they lack the critical scale to apply best practices, embrace innovations and new technologies and are at high risk with the upcoming silver wave.
So in a sense, Central States Water Resources is the typical portrait of a distributed water utility that may become the norm in the very near future. I'm carefully using "distributed" and not "decentralized" because you'll see that Josiah firmly refuses the decentralized concept - I'll let him explain why.
In this week's exploration, I'm scratching the surface of something that could become a major trend, and not only in the US, when you think of Germany's 10'000 utilities or Switzerland's 700 wastewater treatment plants, to just name the two first examples that crossed my mind.
If that's a topic of interest for you, let me know, and I'll make sure to dive deeper anytime soon! How can you express your interest? Well, you know the maxim I keep repeating week after week: if you like what you hear, share it with a friend, a colleague, or simply your LinkedIn network. I'm thrilled to see the number of these shares increase because that means we're all spreading the word and coming closer to my vision: when you understand Water, you solve the World! So come on, do it, and I'll meet you on the other side!
800 Water Consolidation (https://dww.show/800-ma-moves-in-a-decade-yet-youve-never-heard-of-this-water-utility/) Moves in a Decade, Yet You've Never Heard of this Water Utility!