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Water solutions expert reflects on three years of a growing industry
Australian Chartered Accountant Andrew Pearce had an elite lifestyle in Hong Kong when he decided to come back to his home country to join a group of entrepreneurs in a new venture to establish a boutique domestic water solutions company.

New Water, which is now operating in six states across the country, was subsequently founded in Melbourne in July 2004 by CEO Andrew Pearce, inventor Malcolm Gordon with funding from early stage investor Louis Carroll to provide innovative solutions to help households adopt alternative means of sourcing their domestic water requirements.

Pearce was in Hong Kong when he received a phone call from Louis Carroll to discuss the opportunity of starting a company called New Water. Andrew visited Australia and met with the inventor Malcolm.

"I was so impressed with Malcolm's passion and vision for where the water industry was going, I thought it was a business worth being involved in. My wife and I packed our bags and were back in Australia within four months," Pearce said.

"Start-up costs for the business were $2 million and much of it had to be invested into research and development. We are still continually investing in this area and innovating with new products," Pearce said.

Pearce said that moving from professional accounting to management consulting of a large multinational organisation and finally to founder of a start-up business, offered him a whole different set of challenges.

"In a start-up business, things are moving at a much faster pace and you end up with fewer resources. For example, I had to write the content of our website, advertisements and so on. Until your business grows, you have to rely on yourself and a handful of colleagues," he said.

"I had to sacrifice my income because a start-up business can't afford to pay a market salary to its owners. You just need to hope that one day your business will give you a return for your equity. When it does, it's the best satisfaction a person can get," he added.

Pearce's new position also had a significant impact on his family's lifestyle.

"We became much more aware of environmental issues at home and changed our whole lifestyle. We tried to live a more environmentally-friendly as opposed to consumer-focused life. We now live solely on rainwater with all our water coming from two tanks holding 60,000 litres," he said.

Since 2004, New Water has grown from seven staff to 47 people across Australia and New Zealand. The company's revenue was $1.7 million in 2006 and reached $4.78 million in 2007, representing exceptional growth of 281 percent. Projected revenue for 2008 is approximately $9 million.

Pearce said he has witnessed a revolution in the domestic water solutions market since New Water started operating three years ago.

"The domestic water solutions market has grown exponentially. In fact, it has grown so much that it is impossible to estimate how much this market is now worth - certainly billions of dollars. It has become a topic of day-to-day conversation. The industry has become mainstream and more professional," Pearce said.

"This being said, there are still a lot of 'cowboys' in the industry and it's the reason why we need government support and why we played a key role in the establishment of the Australian Grey Water Institute (AGWI) to provide a voice for the industry," he explained.

Pearce explained that even though the market for domestic water solutions has evolved considerably, companies like New Water still face great challenges.

"One of the biggest challenges, in addition to the outdated government regulations, is to educate the public about our solutions. Community education and the level of demand for our products often fluctuates based on what information governments place on the public agenda," he explained.

"For example, if governments say that desalination plants can solve all our water supply problems, then the public relies on the government's solution and think they don't need to do anything else at a household level.

"To overcome this challenge, we meet with local councils regularly to educate them on the importance of promoting collection of rainwater and treatment of grey water at the household level. It is a very long process," Pearce added.

To date, New Water has sold over 3,000 Rain Reviva flexible bladder tanks which are installed under the house or deck to capture rain from all areas of the roof. The company has also installed about 100 of its award-winning Aqua Reviva grey water treatment systems.

"Our next big move will be to expand our offerings into the commercial sector and expand overseas, most likely in the USA," Pearce explained.

New Water recently won the Allianz Best Innovator Award as part of the 2007 Awards and was ranked third on SmartCompany50 - a list of 50 of Australia's fastest growing and innovative companies based on reported annual revenue growth and innovation.

All New Water products are Australian designed and made. The company also sells Microslim and Slimline tanks.

For more information on New Water and its products, visit or call 1300 552 695 (1 300 NEW WATER).

Released for New Water by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (
For further information please call Teanne Ryan or Kim Larochelle on (02) 9413 4244.

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