Water Footprint of a Chip Fabrication Plant
The SRC/SEMATECH Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing is a "multi-university research center leading the way to environmentally friendly semiconductor manufacturing." In a recent interview, Farhang Shadman, who directs the engineering research center, observed "One manufacturing plant uses anywhere between two to four million gallons of very, very pure water, we call it ultra-pure water, per day, and that, on the average, is roughly equivalent to the water usage of a city of maybe 40 or 50,000 people."
Shandman's team has developed technology that promises to eliminate much of this water use from fab facilities. You can learn more about these efforts from the audio story, "Benign Design for the Environment" at Living on Earth.