Newsletter #6 – June 2021
Summer has yet to arrive but drought and "mega-drought" are in the news already. In my local watershed, the Deschutes River Basin in Oregon, we are going into the driest part of the year, with many of our reservoirs at historic lows.
A little further south, in the Klamath River Basin, drought is so severe, the Bureau of Reclamation has shut off most of the irrigation supply farmers and ranchers typically rely on. Needless to say, tensions are high.
Water scarcity is not isolated to Oregon. Tucson, Arizona, is a city leading the way in greywater reuse regulations (they began requiring separate greywater plumbing in all new single-family homes in 2010). And, they will need the benefits of greywater reuse now more than ever as one of the city's main water treatment plants will be shutting down due to toxic concentrations of PFAS contamination. The only alternative water source the city has comes from its allotment of the Colorado River, and if you haven't seen the news, Lake Mead—held back by the Hoover Dam—is at its lowest level since it was first filled. Indeed, one of the worst droughts in decades is sweeping the western US and threatening to affect millions of people.
Restrictions in residential water use are sure to come as the summer progresses. In California, more permanent measures have been taken to curb residential water use. In 2018, the California legislature passed bills AB 1668 and SB 606, effectively capping per capita water use for residential households. As drought conditions persist, residential water efficiency technology will be more important than ever. As such, I am happy to report all the great advances LeapFrog has made since our last mailing.
Indeed, a lot has happened since our last newsletter. With so many accomplishments and milestones achieved, I have had to make a list:
1) NSF SBIR Phase I Complete
We have completed a one-year research project supported by the National Science Foundation's Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant. The results are in and our system is meeting international certification standards with flying colors.
2) NSF SBIR Phase II Proposal Submitted
We also submitted our Phase II NSF SBIR proposal. We believe our proposal was strong and we look forward to hearing back from the NSF in the coming months. I want to give special thanks to our supporters: KB Home, Evans Oaks Cohousing, Sweetwater Authority, Orenco Systems, the University of Oregon, and Elevate Capital.
3) First Private Investment Closed
Indeed, another bit of exciting news...We have received our first private investment from Elevate Capital's Gap fund. We are so excited to be backed by such a progressive, forward-thinking, and impact-driven VC.
4) Field Testing Begins
Field testing begins this month as we move our lab-proven treatment system to the field for testing under various real-world conditions.
5) New Hires
In order to keep up with the growth of new company activities, we are adding two new hires this month. Check out next month's newsletter to be introduced to our new additions.
6) First Patent Filed
And last but certainly not least, LeapFrog has filed its first provisional patent! It's official, we're inventors 🤓
I'm so thrilled to share our successes with you all as we rush to deliver sustainable water efficiency to home water-challenged regions.
- Adam DeHeer
This summer, LeapFrog will be installing our greywater reuse systems at multiple homes across Oregon! We'll continue to provide updates over the coming months as our units are installed at these pilot testing sites.
We are delighted to share that LeapFrog Design has received our first private investment from Elevate Capital. This funding will enable us to continue with our field testing and further refine the system. We look forward to working with the Elevate Capital team!
In this edition, we're featuring the Canna Lily (Canna indica). This tropical plant thrives in wetland areas, and can grow more than four feet tall. This beautiful plant is a great addition to our modular system as it provides filtration and visual appeal.