Intel announced this week that their operations in the United States, Costa Rica, and India are officially net positive on water use, meaning Intel restores more freshwater than they take in. In Arizona, fifteen Intel-funded projects helped restore 890 million gallons to the watershed in 2021.
In Arizona, an Intel-funded project incentivized farmers near the Verde River to switch out crops that require heavy irrigation in the summer months for barley, which is harvested earlier in the year and requires less water. As part of the project, an investment in a local malt house lowered the transaction costs involved in malting barley, which can then be sold to local breweries that previously had to use out-of-state suppliers.
“Intel was one of the first tech companies to make a public commitment around water restoration, but we’re not alone in this. In the years since we announced our water commitment, we’ve had conversations with other companies who have come to us for help or advice with setting their own water stewardship goals. Although water challenges are local, the partnerships, collective actions and investments are global,” said Fawn Bergen Corporate Sustainability Manager at Intel.
This achievement reflects Intel’s long-running commitment to conserve water and minimize the impact on the planet – one that goes beyond the bounds of Intel’s campuses and is motivated by more than just saving money on the water bill.
Last year, Intel used 16 billion gallons of freshwater, reclaimed water and desalinated water. Internal water management practices resulted in more than 13 billion gallons of water flowing out of Intel, back to surrounding communities. Adding in restoration projects, Intel is edging toward its global goal of returning and restoring more water than it uses to the community and the environment.