Drought? What Drought?

Because the chip-making process requires massive volumes of water, Austin semiconductor companies (in bold below) rank among the city water/wastewater utility's biggest customers. Below is a chart of water usage by the city's top eight users. These are the city's only "industrial customers" -- so designated because they drink up 85 million gallons or more per year.

For a sense of scale, total city water usage for the charted one-year period was about 50 billion gallons -- so the three semiconductor companies represented about 6% of the city's total water usage for that period.

October 2000-September 2001

Total (gallons)Peak Month
Motorola1,553,296,100150,470,300 (Jan. 01)
AMD958,200,80084,970,000 (Dec. 00)
University of Texas542,435,60066,033,100 (Oct. 00)
Samsung492,532,40046,931,600 (June 01)
Reit Mgmt. Research Inc.183,588,10018,540,200 (Nov. 00)
Abbott Labs105,614,00022,088,700 (June 01)
Sematech (Consortium of semi-conductor companies) 99,587,20010,835,200 (May 01)
Multilayer Tek L.P.95,330,10019,056,300 (Feb. 01)

Source: City of Austin Water/Wastewater Utility

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Amy Smith
Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

Section 8 Reopens
Section 8 Reopens
Hurry up ... and wait!

Oct. 3, 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle