Water Restoration

Goal: Restore 100% of Global Water Use by 2025

Water is essential to the semiconductor manufacturing process. We use ultrapure water to remove impurities from our silicon wafers, and we use industrial and reclaimed water to run our manufacturing facility systems. Over the last two decades, our sustainable water management efforts and partnerships have enabled us to conserve billions of gallons of water and return approximately 80% of our water back to our communities. Now, we are broadening our focus to restore 100% of our global water use by 2025.

Reaching Our Goal

This ambitious goal will close the gap in our water balance by funding collaborative projects to support local watersheds that restore water in quantities equivalent to the water we consume. These projects, whether agriculture-centered, conservation-focused, or IoT-based, aim to address local water issues and support the well-being of our communities, economy, and the environment.

Reaching our goal will depend on our future water consumption, and we will evaluate and adjust our goal annually. To date, we are 56% of the way there—increasing our total water directly returned or restored to approximately 90%. Projects funded so far benefit Arizona, California, Oregon, and New Mexico watersheds.

Hear more about our goal

Price and Colorado River Winter Flow Restoration

Location: Price River Basin, Utah (to benefit Arizona’s water supply)

Implementation Partner: Trout Unlimited

Estimated Restoration Benefit1: 102 million gallons/year (MGY)

Project Description: The Price River, which flows to the Colorado River System and ultimately Lake Powell, experiences fish kills and poor habitat conditions during the winter months due to low reservoir outflows. For this project, Trout Unlimited will lease water rights that were previously held by a coal-fired power plant (closed in 2015), allowing benefits to the Colorado River System by re-watering downstream of the reservoir. Through this water leasing project, the water right is protected for ten years and as a result of water released between December and February will enhance depleted instream flows through the Price River and delivered to the Colorado River System.

Middle Deschutes Instream Flow Restoration

Location: Deschutes River, Oregon

Implementation Partner: The Deschutes River Conservancy

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 81 MGY

Project Description: The Deschutes River offers miles of camping, floating, hiking, and fishing in Central Oregon. Since the late 1800s/early 1900s, the Middle Deschutes has been heavily impacted by water withdrawals, including some of the state’s largest irrigation diversions, resulting in the river drying up during the summer months causing poor water quality, inadequate habitat to support healthy native trout populations, and a decline in overall river health. This project, a continuation of The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) water leasing program, works collaboratively with irrigation districts and farmers to voluntarily leave their water instream for an agreed upon period, thereby restoring flows in the river.

Lower Salt River Restoration

Location: Salt River Basin, Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Implementation Partner: National Forest Foundation (NFF)

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 89 MGY

Project Description: Tonto National Forest, north of Phoenix, is one of the most visited National Forests in the U.S. with approximately 5.8 million visitors annually. In 2012, invasive and noxious weed infestations were estimated to cover more than 500,000 acres of the Tonto National Forest, threatening native plant species and increasing susceptibility to wildfire which impacts water flowing to the Salt River, a key water source for the City of Phoenix. This project aims to restore 70 acres of habitat by replacing invasive Arundo and Tamarix with native species and revegetating the area burned in the Cactus Fire.

West Clear Creek Pipeline Project

Location: West Clear Creek, Arizona

Implementation Partner: The Nature Conservancy

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 18 MGY

Project Description: West Clear Creek, a rare cold water habitat on route to the Verde River, provides some of the most intact and valuable fish and wildlife habitat in the region. This area has been impacted by irrigation diversions, but by upgrading irrigation infrastructure and making smarter use of water through converting flood irrigation to drip irrigation, fixing leaky sections of irrigation canals, establishing new head gates with improved control, and implementing high tech soil moisture monitoring, this project will reduce irrigation withdrawals and generate instream benefits to fish and wildlife. 

Bowers Rock State Park Side Channel Restoration

Location: Willamette River Basin, Oregon

Implementation Partner: Calapooia Watershed Council

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 167 MGY

Project Description: Side channels that meander through the Willamette River floodplain are critical to ecological health and provide a diversity of flows, temperatures, and habitat for a variety of species. This project involves restoration of natural river flow to a side channel complex within the 568-acre Bowers Rock State Park that has been cut off from Willamette River flows by former gravel mining operations and levees, and will provide a diversity of off-channel habitats for fish and wildlife, facilitate fish passage, and provide winter rearing benefits to fish. 

Horseshoe Lake Oxbow Restoration

Location: Willamette River, Oregon

Implementation Partner: Greenbelt Land Trust

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 41 MGY

Project Description: Horseshoe Lake is an historic oxbow located on a floodplain on the east bank of the Willamette River that supports wetlands, prairie, and riparian forests that are permanently protected through conservation easements and managed by the Greenbelt Land Trust. This project aims to restore flow exchange between the Willamette River and the oxbow during the critical winter rearing period to provide habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed salmonids and other fish and wildlife species, to help with flood attenuation, and to restore floodplain function. 

Wapato Lake Restoration and Management

Location: Tualatin River, Oregon

Implementation Partner: Clean Water Institute

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 89 MGY

Project Description: Wapato Lake—part of the Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge—is an historic lake and wetland area that has been managed for decades using levees and pumps to drain winter runoff from the site for farming. To ensure proper water management that provides aquatic and wetland habitat for a variety of wintering waterfowl and migratory bird species, the project will replace the existing unreliable infrastructure.

Water Resources Rio Grande Project

Location: Rio Grande Watershed in Colorado (Upper Rio Grande) and New Mexico (Mainstem Rio Grande and Comanche Creek)

Implementation Partner: Trout Unlimited, National Forest Foundation

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 109 MGY

Project Description: The Upper Rio Grande and its tributaries support farming, ranching, rural communities, and a renowned trout fishery. In the Valle Vidal Unit of the Carson National Forest, past grazing, mining, and logging have degraded Comanche Creek, adversely affecting the channel and disconnecting the creek from its historic floodplain. This project will increase winter flows to benefit fish, reconnect Comanche Creek to the historic floodplain and wetlands, restore natural water storage capacity, and provide recreation and other wildlife benefits.

Bird Returns Wetland Habitat Creation

Location: Central Valley, California

Implementation Partner: The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 47 MGY

Project Description: The Central Valley wetlands once provided critical habitat for migratory birds traveling the Pacific Flyway, but have been drained by more than 95% for development and agriculture causing significant decline in bird populations. The Nature Conservancy is working with farmers to ensure that agricultural fields are managed to provide critical migratory bird habitat and groundwater replenishment, as well as food production.

Mountain Island Ranch (MIR)

Location: Main stem of Colorado River near Thompson, Utah (to benefit Arizona’s water supply)

Implementation Partner: Trout Unlimited

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 142 MGY

Project Description: MIR is an organic cattle ranch operating on roughly 125,000 acres of land that helps preserve and enhance critical wildlife habitat. Water was historically diverted from the Colorado River to irrigate alfalfa and support other agricultural operations. This system conservation project will leave water in the Colorado River that was previously withdrawn by converting alfalfa to cool season, low water use grasses and improving irrigation efficiency.

Lower San Pedro River

Location: Lower San Pedro River, Gila River Basin, Arizona (to benefit Arizona’s water supply)

Implementation Partner: Arizona Land and Water Trust (ALWT); Desert Rivers Program 

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 62 MGY

Project Description: The San Pedro River provides critical habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, but groundwater pumping for agriculture has contributed to extremely low flows and intermittent dry periods, threatening the health of the riparian ecosystem. This project includes conversion to drought-tolerant native grasses that do not require sustained irrigation.

Barley Conversion

Location: Camp Verde, Verde River Watershed, Arizona (to benefit Arizona’s water supply)

Implementation Partner: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) 

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 60 MGY

Project Description: The Verde River is a water source for Phoenix and a lifeline for wildlife in the American Southwest, but like many western rivers, streamflow is low or nonexistent in some areas during the hot summer months when water is diverted to irrigate crops. This project will shift crop production to malt barley which is harvested before the critical summer water stress period, resulting in more water in the river and a profitable crop for local farmers.

IoT Smart Ag Pilot

Location: Tualatin River Basin, Oregon (to benefit Oregon’s water supply) 

Implementation Partner: Vanasche Farm 

Estimated Restoration Benefit: To be determined during pilot

Project Description: Intel is partnering with a local hazelnut farmer to pilot real-time, remote monitoring of soil moisture and local weather that allows the farmer to determine the precise soil moisture and weather at specific locations within their fields. This application is designed to increase irrigation efficiency by watering only when necessary and allow the farmer to determine precipitation or other important weather patterns at their fields. 

Long Valley Meadow

Location: Verde River Watershed, Coconino National Forest, Arizona (to benefit Arizona’s water supply)

Implementation Partner: National Forest Foundation (NFF) 

Estimated Restoration Benefit: 20 MGY

Project Description: Long Valley Meadow provides water filtration, water storage, and habitat along the Mogollon Rim in the Coconino National Forest. The site has been degraded from historic land management practices, which have caused severely incised channels with actively expanding bank erosion. This project will restore headwater meadows by diverting flow out of incised channels and into the meadow, restoring the floodplain connection and allowing water to infiltrate into groundwater, increasing the soil’s storage capacity.

Product and Performance Information

1The restoration benefit represents an estimation by a third party based on the expected outcome of each project. After each project is completed, the restoration benefit will be verified by a third party.