Intel treats at least two million gallons of industrial water a day at its plants in Chandler, Ariz., then returns the water to an underground aquifer, according to Bloomberg.
The company, which is the city’s largest employer, recycles 60 percent of its water. It also is expanding the treatment facilities and increasing the amount it reuses while it constructs a $5 billion plant that will make more efficient computer chips.
Bloomberg says Intel’s Chandler plants use nine million gallons of water a day, of which five million is reused or reclaimed.
The dry desert community only receives an average of nine inches of rainfall annually. As the Phoenix area currently is experiencing the worst 14-year drought in a century, Intel’s efforts to replenish aquifers make more water available for energy and electricity, as well as for drinking water.
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The news agency reports that on June 30, Phoenix set a single-day water-use record with 420 million gallons.
The drought has compelled the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to announce plans to cut water released from Las Vegas’s main water source — Lake Powell to Lake Mead — 9.1 percent over the next year.
This increases the possibility of water shortages in Arizona and Nevada, and means less hydroelectric power will likely be generated at Glen Canyon Dam in Lake Powell and Hoover Dam at Lake Mead.
In August, AT&T and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced a new suite of tools they co-developed that allegedly could help U.S. commercial buildings collectively save up to 28 billion gallons of water annually. The Building Water Efficiency toolkit was the result of data and lessons from pilot projects that ran across the U.S. during the summer and fall of 2012.
AT&T and EDF say the toolkit gives organizations simple, cost-effective resources to build their own water efficiency programs and includes both technical and management tools to design, implement and document water savings. The combination of tools can be used to create the business case for investments in efficient water management.