What's up my friends. Welcome back to the pod. This is your host, Andy Humphrey. I'm actually at the moment driving back from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I attended, uh, yesterday the conference called American... No. Association of Water Technology. Association of Water Technology. AWT. Annual National Conference was in Grand Rapids and I thought, you know what?
I have an affinity for technology. I'm in the water business. Let me go check out this AWT conference. So, I drove down to Grand Rapids yesterday just to attend the trade show. It was 150 to go, you know, see who, see what the water technology conference is all about. I also wanted to catch up with my friend, Justin and Breck from OpConnect.
Special shout out to you guys on the podcast today. Good to see ya. Lots of fun. Thank you for a good time last night. And anyway, back to the conference. Wasn't quite sure what to expect. You know, like I said, I just kind of figured that because I'm in the water technology business, I should go to the water technology conference.
Come to find out that it was mostly... Hmm, what's the right way to describe it? Mostly, kind of industrial cooling towers, boilers, water treatment, things of that nature. And, I guess, uh, that's not what I would first think of as it relates to technology. However, there is a lot of technology in how we treat water and how we manage and control cooling towers.
commercial buildings. And what was also interesting is that it was a bit similar to the irrigation and landscape industry. I might say a slightly more professional, and I, I say that from just judging the book by its cover, meaning it appeared that attendees were a little bit better Dressed than a landscape show.
So it doesn't mean that it's higher quality. I just noticed that it seemed like it was a bit more of a professional event. I understood that there's about 5, 000 people that attended. And I think for me, and this kind of relates to something that I wanted to share with you today, it, it felt, it was good to see the water industry through a completely different lens.
And to get on the field with a new set of players, not just, you know, guys like guys and gals like you and me that understand irrigation, but to see what is happening in other industries and how technology and I guess digital technology may be affecting other industries. And from the most part, it mostly felt like a conference from the early 2000s.
In other words, I didn't see a lot of sort of IoT mobile software tech. There was some, but not a lot. Most of what I saw was industrial type controls. Lots of pipes, lots of valves, lots of dosing pumps, things of that nature. Less software. And what is fascinating, I think, about that is there, there could still be a bit of a missing gap in terms of these guys focus, uh, down in the weeds, although maybe it's not really down in the weeds, they focus on the details of water Clarity, I guess, or, or water, water treatment, uh, especially in the cooling towers, with less focus on how much water is going in and how much water is coming out.
It's mostly they focus on what happens in between. Less focus on water going in and water going out, more focus on controlling the water, treating the water in between. And, uh, yeah, so I guess that was kind of my 10, 000 foot view, uh, observation. And it's not that different than... then the irrigation industry.
Oftentimes, this industry, our industry, the landscape industry, focuses on, let's say, the runtime of the zone and the precipitation rate of the zone and the types of sprinklers and the types of drip and the spacing of the drip and the infiltration rate of the soil and all these things. The details in between with a little less focus on, uh, the 10, 000 foot view.
How many gallons of water is this landscape using per cycle per day, per month, per year? And is that the right amount of water? You know, those 10, 000 foot view, uh, lenses that we, we spend less time focusing on the big picture and we spend more time focusing on the details. And I wonder. What would happen if we did it the other way around?
Sometimes to, to see what you can't see you have to change the place that you're standing. You have to stand somewhere else and look back or take another perspective and that might be, as I, as I talk here, that might be the lead into What I, uh, wanted to share, which was kind of about, you know, our own biases or, or, or our own cognitive biases and our own blind spots.
And this could be one of them, that we focus on the details, we focus on not mixing sprays and rotors and the fundamentals and the infiltration rate and the precipitation rate. And all of those details because we're not focusing on the big picture and maybe that is a potential blind spot. So my question would be, is it a blind spot?
Where are your blind spots? How do you know if you have a blind spot? And I heard this quote earlier in the week. And you guys know that I like to write down the quotes that I hear and share them with you. So the quote went something like this. We believe that what we see. is all there is. I really like that.
We believe that what we see is all there is. And that's why oftentimes we almost want to convince other people that what we believe is true because that's all that we see. And the analogy that, uh, I don't remember who said this. I just wrote it down, but I didn't, I can't remember actually where I heard it, but the analogy was You're on a train, and you're holding a ball.
You're on a train, you're holding a ball, the train is going 60 miles an hour, how fast is the ball moving? I'll let you think about that. You're on a train, you're holding a ball, you're going 60 miles an hour, how fast is the ball moving? And I love this because your first thought is, well, the ball... Or maybe your thought is the ball's not moving.
I'm, I'm on the train. I'm holding the ball. The ball's not moving. But, but what I didn't give you, what I didn't give you was to think about from whose perspective am I asking? Am I asking you on the train how fast the ball is moving or am I asking someone else outside the train how fast the ball is moving?
Because depending on who you ask, you will get two different answers. If you ask the person on the train, they'll tell you the ball's not moving. If you ask the person outside the train how fast the ball is moving, they'll say the ball went past at 60 miles an hour. So, one question can have two different, completely different answers, yet both are 100 percent correct.
It just depends on who you ask. So I think that it, we could get caught up in, in a similar pattern in our industry when someone asks the question, how do you reduce water usage? Well, we're probably all going to have the same answers, but the answers could vary depending on who you're asking and what their level of knowledge is, and how they want, what their plan of attack would be to reduce the water usage.
Again, I don't think that there's any one particular way or one particular answer. There's only many answers and there may be a couple more questions that you want to ask before you can answer that question more accurately. So, yeah, coming back to the, to the water conference. That's how I felt a bit. I was able to change my perspective, go from inside the train to outside the train or go from inside the irrigation water industry to step out of the industry and step in to the water technology through a different lens, through this industrial.
Uh, industrial water technology lens. And come to find out, there's a lot of similarities. It's water. Water is used. Water is wasted. And there is technology both controlling the water, monitoring the water, and managing the water. And, like I said, I think the closest similarity is that both industries, when you're in the industry deep, you focus on the details.
You focus on... The small, the small aspects and you lose a little bit of perspective on the bigger, on the bigger picture. And because I'm not in the industrial water space and I don't know how to treat the water like all these guys in the show and gals in the show know and they know their industry inside and out.
My observation was that's where they focus. And when I asked people. Who manages, who decides how much water goes into the building for, let's say the cooling tower and how much goes out and is that the right amount? A majority of the response was that that wasn't really managed or tracked. So I think we should probably reflect back and ask ourselves those same questions.
How many gallons should this site? Should this landscape be using? Start with the big picture. How much water goes into the landscape? How much water goes out of the landscape? Can't really measure how much goes out of the landscape, but how much goes in and is that the right amount? Start there, then, then go down.
into the details to figure out how to make that, how to make that happen, how to apply that right amount of water just simply based on gallons per square foot per day. Gallons per square foot per day, per cycle, per month, per year. What is your gallons per square foot and how do you set up the control system to apply that?
Right amount of gallons per square foot and how do you monitor it to make sure you're still applying the gallons the correct gallons per square foot, so Bunch of things here today to share with you, but I just wanted to kind of give you my thoughts on the association of water Technology and just that that quote here that we believe that what we see is all there is That's such a good one.
We believe that all We believe that what we see is all there is, so the next time you're, you're stuck, the next time you're not seeing something, get off the train and then see how fast the ball is moving. Otherwise, the ball's not going to be moving. All right, I think that's what I have here today, guys.
Thanks for, thanks for tuning in. Appreciate you listening to, uh, the last couple weeks of my solo episodes and... I do have, there's a whole bunch of new content that I am preparing that could possibly take this podcast in a slightly, uh, different direction, still water, but, uh, perhaps in a slightly different direction, and I'm kind of putting the framework for that together with a possible, uh, December, I shouldn't say launch, not really a launch, but, um, Perhaps a December pivot.
Not, not quite sure yet. Still getting my thoughts together, but I think overall I'd really like to start talking more about water in its entirety with maybe a slightly less focus on the ins and outs of irrigation specifically. So. Anyway, that's kind of, uh, what's going on in my head. Thanks again for listening.
Appreciate you guys. Remember to subscribe to this podcast, podcast, podcast. That would be an interesting app. Podcast. Do you have the podcast app? How to turn your podcast into cash? Remember to subscribe and please share this with a friend, someone that you know, who may enjoy the ins and outs of irrigation technology, as well as episodes seeded in with what's going on in Andy's mind.
So again, thank you so much. Have a great weekend. Catch you on the next episode.