Intel’s water source conservation projects
You may believe that precision equipment factories are in a place where water is clean. Do you know the reason? Clean water is water that has few impurities and less dissolved solids. In other words, it has strong detergency since there is plenty of room to dissolve things. To remove invisible dust on fine parts, such clean water is necessary.
Intel in the US, a manufacturer of semiconductor that is an essential part of all industrial products, is one of the companies that need such clean water. The company announced the results of its water source conservation projects on Earth Day, 22 April. According to the report, about 1 billion gallons of water have been conserved in the last two years at water sources throughout the United States. This is equivalent to that amount used by 9,000 American households in a year.
In 2017, the company committed to restore100% of the water used in the factory to nature. 80% of the water used is processed in the factory and restored to the watersheds, the water source, and it has funded water restoration projects for rivers and forests to supplement the remaining 20%. In Arizona, it supports projects such as installing agricultural pipelines to provide water to the fields and replacing non-native plants that can cause wildfires with native ones. And in Oregon, the company also supports the construction of embankments and pumps for lakes where migratory birds and aquatic life inhabits. In addition to them, it also supports in California, New Mexico, and Bangalore, India, similar projects such as planting trees to conserve water sources.
However, those living in urban areas of the water-rich country may not know what and how the conservation activities are by companies. You can use the water necessary in your life by turning on the faucet. However, on a global level, 97.5% of the water on the earth is seawater, and freshwater is 2.5%. Most of the freshwater is glaciers and ice in Antarctica and Arctic, and it is said that water such as rivers and lakes, which humans can easily use in their daily lives, accounts for only about 0.01% of the entire earth. The freshwater we use on a daily basis is actually not abundant.
In addition, there is a problem that the amount of water that can be supplied against the population is small in the arid regions such as the Middle East and Africa, while South America, which has a tropical rainforest, is rich in water. Such biased distribution of water naturally exists also in one country, and the amount of water that can be used by humans varies depending on the local environment such as mountain and plain regions. If a company builds a factory in a certain area as a production base, it will consume water in that area, where almost certainly people and wildlife create the ecosystem. If companies use water without consideration of such ecosystems, they will not only bother the community but also be tied themselves down. Companies that use large amounts of water have to conserve local water sources.
Intel said that it would call for other companies to fund water conservation activities. It is expected that the number of companies responsible for the local environment will gradually increase.