Boiling Frogs-Intel vs. the Village

"Boiling Frogs - Intel vs. the Village" recounts the story of Intel Rio Rancho's impact on the air and water in the Village of Corrales from the mid-1980s to the present day. Updates to this ongoing saga will be posted here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Well Kept Secret

Here's yet another letter to the editor that will probably not be published. Public officials and local press seem to be determined to keep this important issue a secret: Postcript: The letter was published but buried in the Rio Rancho edition, not the main Albuquerque edition.

Re the editorial in the Sunday Journal: "State Voters Tuning in to Water, Energy Issues," you state "a whopping 85 percent of survey respondents were worried about long-term water supplies." Very few people are aware that Intel uses anywhere from 1.5 to 3 billion gallons each and every year out of our declining aquifer.

This extravagant use is completely avoidable. In 2001, a new clean and cheap method of producing computer chips using super critical carbon dioxide was invented at Los Alamos Labs. This new process reduces water use by as much as 95% and eliminates toxic chemicals. Along with other chipmakers like IBM, Intel was headed towards this next stop on the semiconductor roadmap in 2003.

But last year at a meeting in Corrales, Intel executives said that even though they had achieved equivalent results in making chips in trials with the new method, they plan to go on with the old "wet" method until 2010, if then. That's five more years of a minimum of 7 billion gallons to as much as 15 billion gallons of water gone that could have been conserved.

The editorial noted that "nearly three-quarters of those polled wanted state and local governments to put strong conservation measures in place." If our esteemed Governor can fly to the Sudan to negotiate, why can't he negotiate right here at home to help save our most precious resource."