ABQ water utility to serve Intel expansion - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ water utility to serve Intel expansion

The Albuquerque water utility will use two wells to deliver up to 3 million gallons of water a day to the Intel manufacturing facility in Rio Rancho. Intel will treat and return about 80% of the water to the utility’s wastewater system, where it will be treated again and returned to the river. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority board has approved a $1 million expense for designing a project to deliver up to 3 million gallons of water a day to Intel.

The water will support the tech company’s $3.5 billion upgrade of its computer chip manufacturing plant in Rio Rancho.

Two wells that will serve Intel contain water that is high in arsenic, and they have never been used by the utility for drinking water.

Mark Sanchez, ABCWUA’s executive director, said the company will treat and return about 2.4 million gallons a day into the utility’s wastewater system to offset the increased groundwater pumping.

“At that point, it’s no longer arsenic water or has any other contaminants,” Sanchez said. “We (also) have a pre-treatment system that we capture and treat the water before it goes back into the river.”

Intel will reimburse the $1 million and pay for the infrastructure.

The project may include building a well collector line and improving the wells.

Intel’s water use from the utility will be 600,000 gallons a day.

Sanchez said that amount will not strain water deliveries on the west side of the Rio Grande.

Intel’s on-site system will treat water for use in manufacturing and cooling towers.

The company has a goal of restoring more freshwater than it consumes by 2030.

Intel funded an Audubon water lease to boost river flows and bird habitat in the Isleta Reach of the Rio Grande, and a Trout Unlimited restoration project on Comanche Creek in northern New Mexico.

“Organizations small and large must come together and implement innovative ways to conserve water, one of our most precious resources,” Suzanne Fallender, Intel’s director of corporate responsibility, said in a statement. “Individual action to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, like climate change, isn’t enough.”

Intel is an existing customer of the water utility authority, which inherited a city of Albuquerque agreement to accept the company’s wastewater discharge.

“Historically, what Intel has been forced to do is acquire water rights from irrigators and farmers to authorize their pumping,” Sanchez said. “So I think there’s clearly an advantage for the water authority to provide this service and not force Intel to go into the market and acquire additional water rights.”

Theresa Davis is a Report for America corps member covering water and the environment for the Albuquerque Journal.

 


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

Ad Tango

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Albuquerque's median home price now $298,000
ABQnews Seeker
Metro Albuquerque's rapid home price growth ... Metro Albuquerque's rapid home price growth has leveled off slightly in recent months, but tha ...
2
2 killed in separate crashes in ABQ on Thursday
ABQnews Seeker
Police say two people were killed ... Police say two people were killed in separate crashes Thursday in Albuquerque. Two vehicles were involved in the first crash around 4:30 a.m. near ...
3
NM records 1,132 new virus cases, seven additional deaths
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico inched closer to a ... New Mexico inched closer to a grim milestone — 5,000 deaths related to COVID-19 — on Thursday, after state health officials reported seven additional ...
4
Navajo group alleges uranium mining violates human rights
ABQnews Seeker
Christine Smith, a first grade teacher ... Christine Smith, a first grade teacher at Crownpoint Elementary in northwest New Mexico, lives a few hundred feet from a processing plant for a ...
5
1 killed, 1 injured by prop firearm on Santa ...
ABQnews Seeker
A woman was killed and a ... A woman was killed and a man was injured when they were shot by a prop firearm Thursday afternoon at a movie set outside ...
6
Judge hands down six year sentence to man involved ...
ABQnews Seeker
A man was sentenced to 6 ... A man was sentenced to 6 years in prison Thursday for his role in a 2017 crash that killed an Albuquerque woman and her ...
7
State seeking new members for cannabis committee
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico is taking applications to ... New Mexico is taking applications to fill two open positions on the state's new Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee.
8
Crime Stoppers ups reward for ABQ homicide cases
ABQnews Seeker
The cash reward for tips in ... The cash reward for tips in Albuquerque slayings has more than doubled as the city grapples with a record-breaking year of homicides - many ...
9
FBI: Suspect decapitated man, torched head on Navajo Nation
ABQnews Seeker
What goes around, comes around. That’s ... What goes around, comes around. That’s what authorities say a bloodied hitchhiker told his ride hours after he decapitated a man with an ax ...