Tastemakers 2009 James Krug
by Jonathan Schultz / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Scott Council
For much of Los Angeles’ early history, resource allocation meant bringing water to its citizens through remarkably ingenious means (We’ll divert a lake!) but little foresight (We’ll suck it dry in a decade!). Contemporary L.A. does better in regulating its profligate thirst, but as Krug sees it, there are new frontiers of water conservation that beg to be explored.
Krug’s company, Falcon Waterfree Technologies, believes conservation is best served by relentlessly focused products. He makes urinals that require no running water, thanks to a biodegradable sealant liquid whose density is lower than that of urine.
In high-volume commercial settings, a Falcon urinal conserves 40,000 gallons of water per year. Since the first installation in 2001, the company says more than 150,000 urinals—everywhere from the Staples Center to the Taj Mahal—have saved roughly 17 billion gallons.
With a résumé heavy on high-profile legal and executive positions at Paramount and Disney, Krug himself does not shout “toilet entrepreneur.” At his core, however, he is a businessman. “When you launch brand-new technology, there’s no established path,” he says. “And frankly, that’s exciting.”