Global Semiconductor Manufacturing Water Withdrawals

Listed in Datasets

By Kali D Frost1, Inez Hua1

Purdue University

This study estimates and displays Tier 1 (direct manufacturing) and Tier 2 (electricity-related) water withdrawals by the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Scarcity-weighted withdrawals are also summarized by facility and watershed.

Version 1.0 - published on 01 Mar 2019 doi:10.4231/NYGF-BH18 - cite this Archived on 01 Apr 2019

Licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

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The purpose of this dataset and map is to provide an interactive application for viewing water withdrawals by the global semiconductor industry.  This map displays Tier 1 direct manufacturing water use (fab feedwater) and Tier 2 electricity related water withdrawals (electricity water) by global semiconductor manufacturers (N=1,020).  This map also displays scarcity-weighted facility water withdrawals and does so by incorporating the AWaRE (Available Water Remaining) scarcity factor for each of the watersheds displayed.  The AWaRe factors are a multiplier which takes into account existing scarcity in a watershed due to climactic factors and use by humans and ecosystems (WULCA, 2017). 

The dataset was compiled using semiconductor production data from SEMI, an industry association which tracks global semiconductor fabrication (fab) manufacturing facilities for both current and planned operations. Technology-specific semiconductor manufacturing water use factors from Boyd (2012) and Sematech (2001-2013) were used to estimate individual facility feedwater withdrawals.  The dataset also utilizes publicly available information from government datasets and the literature to construct electricity water use intensity factors.  Detailed methods for facility feedwater withdrawals are presented in Frost & Hua (2017) and methods for quantification of electricity-related withdrawals are described in a forthcoming publication (Frost & Hua, 2019).  See the Data References section below the map for a full listing of references.

Click on a facility or watershed to learn more about semiconductor manufacturing and electricity-related water withdrawals from that location. Note: click on the right hand arrows in the upper corner of the map to view the map legend.


Data References:

Boyd, S. (2011). Life-Cycle Assessment of Semiconductors. Springer Science & Business Media.

Cai, B. M., Zhang, B., Bi, J., & Zhang, W. J. (2014). Energy's Thirst for Water in China. Environmental Science & Technology, 48(20), 11760-11768. doi:

Diehl, T. H., & Harris, M. A. (2014). Withdrawal and Consumption of Water by Thermoelectric Power Plants in the United States, 2010 [Appendix 1] (2328-0328) [XLSX]. Retrieved from

EIA. (2015). Annual Electric Generator Data [Plant Data] [XLS]. Retrieved from:

ESRI. (2018). ArcGIS Desktop: ArcMap 10.5.1. Redlands, CA: Environmental Systems Research Institute.

Frost, K., & Hua, I. (2017, 12-14 Nov.). A spatially explicit assessment of water use by the global semiconductor industry. Paper presented at the 2017 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech). doi:

Frost, K., & Hua, I. (2019). Quantifying Spatiotemporal Impacts of the Interaction of Water Scarcity and Water Use By the Global Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry. Manuscript submitted for publication.

IEA. (2015). Electricity and Heat Production for 2015 [Table]. Retrieved from

Macknick, J., Newmark, R., Heath, G., & Hallett, K. C. (2012). Operational water consumption and withdrawal factors for electricity generating technologies: a review of existing literature. Environmental Research Letters, 7(4). doi:

Meldrum, J., Nettles-Anderson, S., Heath, G., & Macknick, J. (2013). Life cycle water use for electricity generation: a review and harmonization of literature estimates. Environmental Research Letters, 8(1). doi:

Sematech. (2001-2013). Environment, Safety and Health Chapter. Retrieved from

SEMI. (2017). SEMI Fab Database. [XLS].

USEPA. (2014). Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Databse (eGRID) Summary Tables: NERC Region Resource Mix (Table 8) [XLSX]. Retrieved from

WULCA. (2017). AWaRe (Available Water Remaining) Factors [KMZ]. Retrieved from:

Zhang, C., Zhong, L. J., Fu, X. T., Wang, J., & Wu, Z. X. (2016). Revealing Water Stress by the Thermal Power Industry in China Based on a High Spatial Resolution Water Withdrawal and Consumption Inventory. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(4), 1642-1652. doi:

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