Spokane Journal of Business

Water-from-air company targets oil, gas industries

Company scales up units; profitability remains elusive

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Ambient Water Inc., a Spokane-based company that manufactures systems that make pure drinking water from humidity in the air, hopes to provide large, industrial bulk water systems for oil and gas companies, says Jeff Stockdale, Ambient’s chief operating officer. 

The company is exploring the new markets as it continues to lose money and seek new sources of capital.

Stockdale says the emphasis during the past year has been on increasing commercial and industrial systems for use in drilling and fracking, from which he expects to see sales in coming months. 

The company currently makes small water-generation units that can produce approximately five gallons of drinking water per day, depending on temperature and environment, for families or small offices. It also makes larger commercial units which can produce about 400 gallons of water per day. 

Stockdale says the company has been scaling up units for use in hydraulic fracking in the oil and gas industries over the past year. The bulk water system that Ambient makes can produce up to 20,000 gallons per day, he says. Drilling and fracking have had a significant impact on local water supplies in some regions, since it has proven inefficient to transport and retain high volumes of fresh water, a problem that is compounded by droughts in many areas of the country, he adds. 

Ambient’s smaller units retail for $1,800, while the larger units sell for about $2,500. The bulk water systems cost upwards of $138,000. The company can produce a thousand smaller units and about 10 larger units per month at its two manufacturing locations.

During its third quarter ended Sept. 20, Ambient Water reported a net loss of about $2 million, or two cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of about $645,000, or a penny a share, in the year-earlier period. The company hasn’t generated positive cash flows since 2010 and has recorded about $8.8 million in net losses during that time. 

Ambient reported total third-quarter sales of about $15,000, down from $45,000 during the same period in 2013.

The company continues to seek new sources of financing to support existing operations and expand the range and scope of its business, but it doesn’t have a timeframe for when it expects to be operating in the black, Stockdale says. 

“We expect to have profitability and positive cash flow as soon as it is practical,” he says. 

In addition to Stockdale, Ambient CEO Keith White, and sales and marketing coordinator Carole-Lyn Martens, Ambient employs one additional full-time employee, as well as two other part-time salespeople. Stockdale and Martens work from the company’s office here, at 7721 E. Trent, White is located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The company outsources manufacturing for its products to locations in Michigan and South Korea.  

In mid-October, Ambient Water says, it was named one of the first 100 verified OTCQB Marketplace companies, approved since the OTC Markets Group announced new standards and eligibility requirements last March. OTC Markets Group is a U.S. financial marketplace providing price and liquidity information for almost 10,000 over-the-counter securities. 

Stockdale says the OTCQWB Marketplace approval requires companies to meet more stringent requirements and to provide more information and greater transparency to investors once verified. 

“It’s all about investor confidence,” he says. “It differentiates us from other companies.”

Previously doing business as AWG International Inc., founded in 2010, the company changed its name in June to better reflect what it does, and to increase the focus on water, Stockdale says. 

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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