Intel will fund community-based water project in Arizona

Business News | 20 Sep, 2017 |

Intel Corporation, one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers, today announced a far-reaching commitment to restore 100 percent of its global water use by 2025.  The company’s new enhanced global water strategy begins with funding for two local projects in Arizona and Utah, aimed at enhancing, conserving, and restoring water to benefit the environment and support water security for the Colorado River Basin. Currently, Intel returns approximately 80% of the water it uses to local communities and watersheds, and with this announcement becomes the first technology company to commit to a corporate-wide water goal to restore 100 percent of its water use to the environment.

“While Intel has had great success reducing its operational water use through conservation and water reuse, we realize that the long-term vitality of our communities, our employees, and our business requires us to think and act beyond our four walls,” said Todd Brady, Global Public Affairs and Sustainability Director for Intel. “For the past two years, we have been working to understand how we can do more, and we are pleased to work with leading sustainability-focused organizations to step up our sustainability game and support collaborative projects that provide water security benefits for communities, businesses, and the environment.”

This announcement sets the stage for Intel to scale up agriculture-centered, conservation-focused, and IoT-based solutions that address global water scarcity and provide direct benefits to local communities and economies.

The first two community-based water projects funded by Intel include:

  • The funding of a collaborative project between the Arizona Land and Water Trust and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to support the Lower San Pedro River ecosystem. The project supports conversion to low water-use native grasses and shrubs, thereby reducing groundwater pumping and supporting habitat conditions in the nearby San Pedro River. Arizona is at the heart of water management challenges in the American Southwest, and this collaborative project is a model of what can be done to support watershed health in the arid Colorado River Basin.
  • Partnering with Trout Unlimited, Ranch Advisory Partners and landowners on The Mountain Island Ranch Project, located on the Colorado River in Utah, Intel’s support is facilitating the installation of advanced, efficient irrigation systems and the transition to lower water use crops that help reduce water demand from the Colorado River.

“With this announcement, Intel continues to demonstrate its extraordinary commitment to sustaining our water supplies and growing the movement to benefit river flows and the people and businesses that depend on them,” said Todd Reeve, CEO, Bonneville Environmental Foundation. “With drought and continued water stress across the U.S. and globally, these projects show that corporate innovation and leadership will play a central role in achieving a water secure future.”

Both projects apply collaborative strategies that help partners convert to new crops that use less water, boosting river flows, reducing groundwater pumping and helping to mitigate drought impacts in the lower Colorado River, Arizona, and beyond.

Intel Corporation has been a leader in sustainable water management for close to two decades. In 2016, the company conserved 4.6 billion gallons of water, enough to fill almost 7000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The company’s water commitment amplifies the business case for sustainability. Intel’s investment in water sustainability—including conservation and reuse—has had considerable positive impact on the health of communities that rely on rivers and aquifers for water supply and sustained economic vitality. 

“Our hope is that other corporations and businesses increasingly view water and rivers as fundamental to healthy economies and quality of life, with more companies following Intel’s lead by engaging in smart water policies and practices,” said Mr. Reeve.

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