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WINnovation Award 2023: Revida Water — Democratizing Wastewater Treatment by Updating the Rules of Possibility

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The wine industry is constantly faced with new trends, challenges and the pressure to stay ahead of the competition. With that comes the opportunity to innovate. 

Each year, Wine Industry Network recognizes five wine industry innovators — not just for their impressive ingenuity or technical advances — but because of how their product and/or service betters the North American wine industry. 

By Jeff Siegel

Several years ago, Ashish Shah worked for a company that supplied the hardware for a $500 million wastewater treatment system for a prominent U.S. retailer. As the grand opening approached — and with several prominent politicians and business executives scheduled to be in attendance — a $500 pump failed. 

The opening ceremony was in jeopardy, and replacing the pump, regardless of anything else, was the top priority. But, remembers Shah, “[since] we were just the suppliers and not the installers of this equipment, the bureaucratic hurdles hindered a swift resolution. This incident underscored a broader industry challenge: organizations needed wastewater solutions that not only excelled in efficiency but also in reliability.”

Keep it simple

Shah’s new company, Revida Water — a utility-like service designed to simplify wastewater management — aims to ensure performance, dependability and client satisfaction.

“We want to revolutionize a traditionally complex and costly process for winery wastewater treatment,” says Shah. “The idea is to simplify the entire process. Revida Water is committed to environmental responsibility, providing wineries with the means to meet regulatory compliance, to reduce operational headaches and to redirect capital towards more ROI-generating endeavors.”

 The Revida Water approach revolves around designing, building, installing, operating and maintaining wastewater treatment systems for wineries. In this, it doesn’t require any upfront payments; clients only pay when they’re happy with the results and satisfied that the treatment meets their requirements.

“This paradigm shift realigns incentives,” says Shah, “moving away from profit-driven service providers to performance-focused partnerships.” 

A new approach

How does Revida Water work? By reimagining wastewater from the ground up. Innovations include:

          ▪ A performance-based model: Many traditional wastewater treatment providers charge upfront fees regardless of performance; Revida does just the opposite. “This alignment of incentives ensures clients receive the quality they expect, making it a unique proposition in the industry,” says Shah.

           ▪ A more simple approach: Traditional wastewater system procurement involves dealing with multiple vendors for equipment, installation and maintenance. Revida Water streamlines this process by providing end-to-end solutions, from design and installation to operation and maintenance. This simplicity reduces administrative burden and minimizes potential conflicts among vendors.

A modular and scalable model: This approach accommodates clients’ current needs while offering adaptability for future growth. This is especially crucial for wineries dealing with varying production levels throughout the year.

            ▪ Environmental responsibility: Revida Water prioritizes sustainable water management, which not only helps clients meet regulatory requirements but makes it possible for them to reuse treated water in various processes.

“The most common customer reaction to our approach has been, ‘It sounds too good to be true,’” says Shah. “But the speed with which clients progress from skepticism to genuine interest has been remarkable. The realization that they can significantly simplify their wastewater management, improve efficiency and even generate savings through water reuse genuinely astounds them.”

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Jeff Siegel

Jeff Siegel is an award-winning wine writer, as well as the co-founder and former president of Drink Local Wine, the first locavore wine movement. He has taught wine, beer, spirits, and beverage management at El Centro College and the Cordon Bleu in Dallas. He has written seven books, including “The Wine Curmudgeon’s Guide to Cheap Wine.”

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