Intel achieves positive net water in 3 countries

Intel’s business in United States, Costa Rica and India are officially net positive on water use. In these countries, Intel restores and returns more fresh water than it absorbs.

It may sound like creative accounting or a magic trick, but dig deeper and you’ll discover Intel’s long-standing commitment to conserving water and minimizing its impact on the planet – a commitment that goes beyond beyond the confines of Intel campuses and who is motivated by more than just saving money on the water bill.

ToddBradyIntel’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Global Public Affairs, explains: “More than 10 years ago, we began to explore how to better understand and reduce our water footprint. Five years ago, we set a public goal to restore 100% of our water consumption and became the first technology company to set a company-wide water restoration goal. Two years ago, we announced our goal to achieve net positive water by 2030, driven by our commitment to reduce our overall impact on our local watersheds and support the water resources that serve our communities.

“It’s exciting to share that we’ve achieved net positive water in three countries, thanks to strong partnerships with environmental nonprofits and local governments, and through our investments in water stewardship. We don’t stop there – now we are focused on achieving net positive water in the other places where we operate.

Last year, Intel used 16 billion gallons of fresh water, reclaimed water, and desalinated water. Internal water management practices have resulted in the flow of more than 13 billion gallons of water from Intel to surrounding communities. By adding restoration projects, Intel is moving closer to its overall goal of returning and restoring more water than it uses to the community and the environment. And the company’s new sites are being built in line with Intel’s commitment to achieve net positive water globally by 2030.

Many things are needed to run Intel’s factories, but water is arguably one of the most important ingredients. It is used in the manufacturing process, including in manufacturing tools that produce advanced technology, in data centers, and in evaporative cooling towers.

Intel uses fresh water as well as reclaimed water purchased from utilities, but it also draws from other sources. In Israel, desalination removes salt from seawater to make it usable. Other Intel facilities may draw water from onsite wells and collect rainwater to supplement supply from the city. Intel’s CSR report includes a balance sheet showing where each site’s water comes from and where it goes next.

Balancing the equation between water in and water out means working hard to conserve and reuse water whenever possible. Some of the water Intel buys is wasted for irrigation and evaporation, but huge water-saving efforts are going on inside Intel to make sure it’s as water-efficient as possible.

Make the most of what Intel has

Internal conservation efforts saved Intel 9.3 billion gallons of water last year, a 114% increase over the past two years. Manufacturing process improvements and efficiencies mean Intel can do more with less, and on-site treatment plants allow the company to maximize its water reuse and reduce the use of water resources gentle.

In 2021, Intel made significant progress in operating its onsite water reclamation facilities. These innovative plants allow Intel to treat and reuse water in system operations such as cooling towers and scrubbers, resulting in a substantial increase in water conservation that reduces the use of water sources. ‘pure water.

Beyond Intel: Beer, wildlife and rivers benefit

How will Intel achieve global net positive water, especially if there is water lost through evaporation and other things the company can’t do anything about?

Intel’s restoration efforts close the gap and ensure that Intel’s impact on the planet goes beyond simply “cancelling” water use in factories. Intel focuses its water restoration efforts in the watersheds impacted by its sites. For ArizonaIntel-funded water projects restored 890 million gallons to the watershed in 2021. Projects range from traditional conservation to a focus on moving local economies in ways that will have long-lasting impact term.

In Arizonathe Green River home to migrating birds, nesting bald eagles, river otters and fish. The river is also an important source of water for Phoenix and is essential to the region’s agricultural economy. During the hot summer months, withdrawals from the Green River increase to keep crops hydrated and healthy.

An Intel-funded project has prompted farmers to switch from crops that require intensive irrigation during the summer months to barley, which is harvested earlier in the year and requires less water. As part of the project, an investment in a local malt house has reduced the transaction costs of malting barley, which can then be sold to local breweries that previously had to rely on out-of-state suppliers.

In Bengaluru, India, once known as the “City of Lakes”, extensive urban development has contributed to extreme water stress and groundwater depletion. To support Bengaluru’s water resources, Intel has funded two water restoration projects that, when fully implemented, will restore more than 100 million gallons each year between Lake Dyavasandra and Nanjapura Lake.

Fawn Bergencorporate sustainability manager, points to the ripple effects of Intel’s conservation work as additional positives, though not measurable.

“Intel was one of the first technology companies to publicly commit to water restoration, but we are not alone in this,” she says. “In the years since announcing our water commitment, we have had conversations with other companies who have come to us for help or guidance in setting their own water management goals. ‘water. While water challenges are local, partnerships, collective actions and investments are global.

New sites will incorporate the wisdom of water

Since 2021, Intel has announced ambitious plans to ramp up production with new facilities in Arizona, Ohio and Europe. Work towards net positive water will build on what the company has learned over the past 20 years to minimize the impact of new facilities on the surrounding environment.

‘I grew up in the Pacific Northwest – a region known for its considerable rainfall. People often think that means there is little or no risk to the water,” says Bergen. “But water stress, which depends on both supply and demand, exists at different levels around the world – in dry or wet climates. That’s why it’s important to consider your water footprint – and look for solutions – in the context of the watershed.

Although new sites increase its water footprint, Intel’s goal of achieving net positive water globally by 2030 has not changed. It will need to conserve 60 billion gallons of water and restore more than 100% of its global freshwater consumption. How close is the company to reaching that 100% now?

In 2021, Intel is at 99%.

About Intel

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating breakthrough technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance semiconductor design and manufacturing to help solve our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence across the cloud, network, edge, and all types of computing devices, we unlock the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel innovations, visit and


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