Solutions, anyone?

Since climate change is here already, it would be like saying, “let’s prevent the invention of cars.” Ah…you might be a little late.

Trying to predict the future may be entertaining, but it’s not very useful for making decisions. The only useful predictions are those you can approach with certainty: If you light a fire under wet leaves, you will get smoke. If your house is burning down, you will not be sleeping there tonight. Climate change is like that. Many of the chronic problems we’ll face because of climate change are predictable because they’re already occurring.

While we may be able to slow the progression of climate change or reduce its severity if we stop driving, shutter most factories and shut down electric utilities (not happening), the effects of pollution, population growth and climate change are here to stay.

This essay is to remind people that creating workable solutions is the best way to approach problems related to climate change. It’s better than complaining about them, better than arguing about how they could have been prevented, better than making people feel guilty for not doing more. Awareness campaigns that lead to more awareness campaigns may be very fashionable, but they don’t seem to lead to results. All the wonderful plans… without solutions it’s just talk.

River bed dried up

All the wonderful plans…
without solutions
it’s just talk.

What problem, if solved,
could have the greatest impact?

So, the first question to ask is, “What problem, if solved, could have the greatest positive impact?”

Climate change is associated with several serious issues, but most are fundamentally tied to the availability of fresh water.

Much of the world is on track to run out of reliable fresh water due to climate change coupled with industrial development and population growth.* We’re not talking about the weather. This is about the production of everything we take for granted: food, clean drinking water, hygiene, clothes, medicines, transportation, manufacturing, and above all, making a living. If even one sizeable country faces debilitating water scarcity, the whole world will go into recession.

Rinsing vegetables with clean water

There are areas near Houston and Dallas where everyday the homes get three pounds of dirt (silt) with their water.

We’re already seeing this in various ways here in the U.S. There are areas near Houston and Dallas where everyday the homes get three pounds of dirt (silt) with their water. Overdrawing of groundwater is causing the homes to wash their vegetables and cook their food in dirt (and they do not even know it). All of this means that the usual sources of clean freshwater are disappearing. Water and air are the first casualties of any industrial society (there is always payback).

Low-lying coastal cities such as New Orleans, Miami, Houston, and Virginia Beach are already facing rising sea levels. When seawater pushes inland and contaminates local water supplies, that water becomes brackish (a term to describe salty water that’s not as salty as the ocean) and effectively becomes worthless.

The situation in other parts of the world is even worse. Globally, at least a billion people are running out of fresh water. The most populated islands of Indonesia are facing both drought and contamination of fresh water supplies. 80% of the water in China is contaminated. India’s biggest health and economic issue is freshwater availability. Almost all of the coastal water along the Mediterranean is brackish. Clean drinking water is also a major issue for half of Europe, most of Southeast Asia, and most of Africa.

When no water comes out of the tap is not the time to start working on water issues.

When should we start?

The second question to ask is, “When should we start?”

Being an entrepreneur, the question of when is always answered by one word: Now.

In any endeavor you always want to get ahead of the problem while it’s still relatively small. Delaying always causes a lot more work and a lot more pain. Of course we could pretend that there is no problem and then act surprised like we did with the pandemic, rushing around trying to fix something that we knew was coming. When no water comes out of the tap is not the time to start working on water issues.

Now for some good news. Most places have plenty of unusable water. Brackish (salt-contaminated) wells are pretty much everywhere, as are dirty water sources that have become polluted by human activities. So there’s actually no shortage of water, just a shortage of clean, fresh water.

About 10 years ago we recognized this and thought, “We can fix this.” Obviously, we were completely unrealistic (and insane), but it was more useful than trying to go to Mars. So, we spent a few hundred million dollars and then we got lucky.

We came up with an appliance that’s about the size of a dishwasher. But instead of cleaning dishes, it cleans water. It is the one solution that is effective, affordable, efficient, and can serve at any scale, from a single-family home to a farm or village to an entire country. Here are some of the features of the HANS™ Premium Water (HPW) invention:

…there’s actually no shortage of water, just a shortage of clean,
fresh water.

HANS™ Premium Water Appliance Model 2


Plastic Bottles. The only solution to plastic water bottle waste is to not have them in the first place. If every tap in a building, a restaurant, or a store delivers water as good as bottled water, we will go back to the time when everyone drank tap water.

HPW can be used to recycle over 80% of contaminated water from industry and up to 80% of greywater in a home (no toilet water recycling, please). Did you know that 20-25% of water piped from water utilities leaks out before it reaches you? Did you think the leaks are one way? You are showering and washing your organic vegetables with water that is contaminated with chemicals that utilities cannot remove and from contaminants that leak into water supply pipes. In this case, conservation, recycling, and health go hand in hand.

Man in hospital

Water and health are two intertwined crises.

Half the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people sick from bad water. So if we are to tackle global health and yet are ignoring unsafe water, we’re ignoring the elephant in the room (even in the U.S.).

Here in the U.S., there are millions of people living with and drinking contaminated water. warns that contaminants in our water may cause dozens of major diseases.** If you put poison in your body eventually something bad is going to happen (we humans as a group aren’t particularly bright). One key to good health is not to put bad things in the body. If you believe that then this device is the greatest invention for wellness.

A solution is something that people will do if it’s easy, they can see an immediate benefit, and it saves them money.

Removes contaminants. HPW removes viruses, bacteria, hundreds of chemicals known by the EPA to be water pollutants, and hundreds more that are not tested in standard water quality assessments. If the next pandemic is waterborne…

Makes useless water useful. HPW takes brackish or contaminated water and turns it into quality water that’s better than most bottled water.

More than just drinking water. Clean water is not only essential for drinking, but also for bathing. An independent study (not ours) showed that the majority of water contaminants absorbed by the body come through the shower. HPW attaches to the main water line, so every faucet and shower in a home or building flows with purified water.

Approved for health. HPW is the only water device approved in the State of California for health (and if you know anything about California, it’s one of the toughest states to get anything approved).

Energy-efficient. HPW runs on standard 110V electricity or can use solar power.

High flow rate. HPW cleans brackish or contaminated water at a rate of 6-10 gallons per minute, depending on incoming water quality.

Modular. A single HPW device will serve a home, but for larger buildings, villages, cities, water districts, or even countries, multiple devices can be hooked together (sort of like a server farm) to produce whatever quantity of clean water is desired.

HANS™ Premium Water Appliance Model 2 - cover off
The HANS™ Stage 2 Team

Our Story

We gathered a team of tinkerers, you know, the kind that built the might of this country. These are people who make things, create inventions for fun (usually cool stuff that’s completely useless). We were able to get these amazing people and point them toward useful projects. Our mission is to invent solutions for the poorest third of the world. Projects include free electricity, fresh water, and agriculture innovations, as most of the poor are farmers.

The water project started with a device that would be modular and convert ocean water into fresh water and require much less energy than current large-scale desalination projects. We were successful, but before we started production something happened. Billy, who is our chief engineer, came to me and told me he could make a device as small as a dishwasher that could clean contaminated water and even brackish water (slightly salty water which exists in enormous quantities across the world), and that it could be run on low power, even solar.

My response was, “I don’t believe you. Show me.” So we spent years and enormous amounts of money (it hurts me to count how much), and the result is what water industry people are calling the biggest disruptive device for water in 50 years. It will solve the world’s fresh water shortage. Our creative and driven engineers have done a remarkable job (my only contribution was to find flaws in everything they did).

HANS™ Engineer

This announcement is to recognize and honor the work of our engineering team and to invite potential partners to work with us.

This announcement is to recognize and honor the work of our engineering team and to invite potential partners to work with us. This project may take twenty years to execute, but fresh water and clean energy are the two biggest requirements for humanity. We definitely need some help from partners who can help us achieve execution (although my ego and stubbornness says we can do it on our own).

In the next decade we expect to give away a billion dollars’ worth of HPW devices to the poorest in the world. Our commercial and wealthy customers who purchase the device will subsidize even more giveaways (it’s sort of like taking from the rich and…).

I personally believe that it’s a duty for those of us who have wealth to become servants of those who have too little. But that duty is to do something useful. For me, that’s meant creating and funding an invention shop, called Stage 2, that develops real-world, on-the-ground, practical solutions to the world’s most fundamental problems in the areas of energy, water and health for the poor.

Woman with HANS PowerPack and solar panel charger
Shivansh Fertilizer and Farming

Our Other Projects

We have a device that provides free electricity for the poor, a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s and a free system that allows poor farmers to make their own fertilizer, increasing their wages as much as ten times.

We have lots of other useful gadgets also in the works. We don’t do cool, entertaining or convenient, just useful (that was meant as a shot to the Bay Area businesses).

Philanthropy in its definition means love (philos) for humanity (anthropos). Survival of humanity and upliftment of those who really need it seems a higher purpose than, say, donations to rich universities among other fashionable projects. We hope to inspire those who want to improve the world to work on practical solutions rather than just talking a lot (awareness campaigns and such). Ingenuity is one of the great strengths of America. But perhaps it needs to be channeled toward more useful purposes (just sayin’)—not just to make more money, put our names on buildings, do moon shots, go to Mars, or study the mating habits of bugs. All these may be important but probably don’t rate high on humanity’s current list of priorities.

Manoj Bhargava
Founder | 5-hour ENERGY®, HANS Foundation, Billions in Change, Stage 2 Innovations, HANS Power & Water, Shivansh Energy

My ambition (when I grow up) is to become a servant of humanity. There is a lot of work ahead of us on the essential needs of humanity. Nothing is going to matter much if we have poor food, poor water and poor health. Let’s get together and work on serving humanity.

Thank you,


Manoj Bhargava is co-founder of the HANS Foundation, and founder of Billions in Change, Stage 2 Innovations, HANS Power & Water, Shivansh Farming, and 5-hour ENERGY® (that’s where the money comes from). His aim is to create, produce and distribute useful devices and solutions that serve the poorest third of the world.

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*Global Risks Report 2019 – World Economic Forum **, Drinking Water Contaminant Human Health Effects Information