Water Restoration

Goal: Restore 100% of Global Water Use by 2025

Water is essential to the semiconductor manufacturing process. Over the last two decades, our sustainable water management efforts 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.

We’ll achieve this ambitious goal by funding collaborative projects to support local watersheds and restore water in quantities equivalent to the water we consume. We are engaging environmental organizations to identify and implement projects that provide long-term benefits to the water environment. These projects, whether agriculture-centered, conservation-focused, or IoT-based, aim to address global water scarcity and directly support the well-being of our communities, economy, and the environment.

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 Benefit1: 142 million gallons/year (MGY)

Project Description: MIR is an organic cattle ranch operating on roughly 125,000 acres of land. The owners preserve and enhance critical wildlife habitat on the property. 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 This system conservation project will leave water in the Colorado River that was previously withdrawn by converting alfalfa to cool season, low water use grasses and improving irrigation efficiency.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. Groundwater pumping for irrigation and other purposes has contributed to extremely low flows and intermittent dry periods, threatening the health of the riparian ecosystem. The agricultural fields were historically leased for growing cotton and wheat, when the fields were flood irrigated from two wells located less than a mile from the river. This project includes conversion to drought-tolerant native grasses that do not require sustained irrigation, and then leased for grazing.

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, including migratory birds, nesting bald eagles, rare species of reptiles and amphibians, and many species of native fish. 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. Traditional summer crops grown in the Verde River Valley such as alfalfa and corn, have the largest water requirements in the summer. In contrast, barley is harvested before the critical summer water stress period. A seasonal shift in crop production, such as switching from alfalfa and corn to malt barley has the potential to improve summer river flows. The outcomes of this project would result in more water in the river for people and wildlife, 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. The Internet of Things (IoT) system 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 increase the farmer’s ability to determine precipitation or other important weather patterns at their fields. The data provided by this application is intended to save water as well as benefit the farmer by informing the optimum time to plant crops.

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 is a high elevation meadow that provides water filtration, water storage, and habitat along the Mogollon Rim in the Coconino National Forest. Healthy, functioning headwater meadows store precipitation, releasing it slowly. Their role in retaining and releasing water makes meadows critically important for the hydrology of headwater streams as well as for fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation. The Long Valley Meadow site has been degraded as a result of historic land and forest management practices, which have caused severely incised channels with actively expanding bank erosion. This project will restore 42 acres of headwater meadows by using a Plug and Pond technique that diverts flow out of incised channels and into the meadow, restoring the floodplain connection and allowing water to infiltrate into groundwater. The project will reconnect the channel to the meadow thereby increasing the soil’s storage capacity and keeping the soil wet for a longer duration in spring and summer.

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.