back to article Thirsty work: TSMC starts trucking in water amid Taiwan drought to keep chip production lines chugging

As Taiwan grapples with a major drought, local chipmaker TSMC has started ordering water by the truckload to supply its fabrication plants. TSMC, which accounted for over half of all contract foundry revenue in 2020, told Reuters it is preparing for "future demand" which the local water supply may not be able to satisfy. It …

  1. Andre Carneiro

    Climate change....

    So.... shit's getting real, eh? It's not just some islands full of poor people anymore, it's starting to hurt "the people that matter""....

    (Also, I had no idea semiconductor production used that much water, is this something that could be improved on?)

    1. sreynolds Silver badge

      Re: Climate change....

      Rubbish. The premier world research agent on climate and weather, News Corp, has debunked climate change many years ago..

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        And then Texas got covered in snow.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Climate change....

      Rubbish. Nothing to do with climate change. Taiwan is a deveoped island nation with plentiful annual rainfall. But has clean water supply issues due to limited infrastructure and limited water management. Ring any bells?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Climate change....

      If anyone's going to post stuff like this, please include some data that can be cross-referenced and used to back-up your assertion, otherwise its just he said, she said.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: Climate change....

        Sounds like shite from Beijing.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Climate change....

          Ah, China did it!

          I wonder if the CCP is also the cause of the recent Texas freeze as well?

          On a saner note; some investment in RO plants might be worthwhile on a relatively small island that is densely populated.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Climate change....

          Is there a hosepipe ban in the UK this year, yet? It hasn't rained for a couple of weeks down south, has it?

          1. Cuddles Silver badge

            Re: Climate change....

            It rained this morning, the Thames is only just below its banks, and the fields outside my window are still a lake. I don't think we're in any danger of a hosepipe ban until at least next week.

  2. MiguelC Silver badge

    Truckloads of water

    "A single manufacturing plant can use between two to four million gallons of water per day."

    At around a maximum of 9000 gallons of water per truck that's a lot of trucks...

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Truckloads of water

      Yeah! Up to 5000 truckloads a day. The place must look like Manston.

  3. keith_w

    Why can't they re-use the stuff they cleaned up?

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      They don't have the infrastructure to do that. This is why the Koreans did a green funding project to build the infrastructure. Maybe the Taiwanese should do the same. Then there is disposing of the stuff you pull out of the water. Most of that is still quite dangerous. Its the same problem the recycling industry has with electronics. The recycling process creates large amounts of contaminated water that is extremely dangerous. Not to mention the gases that can be released by this process, which can kill you in minutes.This is why it is not recommended to try and extract the gold from electronics in your garage. You might kill yourself AND your neighbors.

  4. AndersH


    There really is no good news when it comes to Climate Change. "While tropical storms are often responsible for immense property damage and loss of life..., they also help to replenish reservoirs."

    1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Woof!

      Its the same ol' same ol'

      More storms = climate change

      less storms = climate change

      Hot summer = climate change

      Cold winter = climate change

      Having lived in North Florida close to 30 years I can tell you it was much warmer here in the 1990s than it is now. In 1994 it was 89 degrees on Christmas day. Have not seen anything like that in almost 15 years. January and February were our dry months, to the point of having many wildfires. Over the last 5 years these months have been quite wet.

      Its quite possible that the industrialization of the late 19th century saved this planet from an impending ice age. In 900 AD England was so warm that they grew wine grapes that rivaled the quality of France. Then the cold came. So I wonder, why did the world not end then?

      CO2 is our blanket, we live on the outer edge of this Solar systems "Goldilocks Zone", Reduce CO2 too far and we will get VERY cold! We will NEVER be Venus, no matter how much the alarmists would like you to believe. Venus is much closer to the sun, it has had a much thicker atmosphere most likely from its beginning. It also has a rotational period that is slightly less than it revolutionary period so the surface of the planet faces the sun far longer than Earth.

      Planet Rotation Period Revolution Period

      Venus 243 days 224.7 days

      Earth 0.99 days 365.26 days

      We would be better served by focusing on reducing actual pollutants that actually harm life on this planet. i.e. micro plastics in the ocean than the gas that actually stops this planet from becoming a ball of ice (which has happened in the past).

      Experiment: Go to a desert and spend the night with no coat or blanket. You will experience just how cold things can get without the sun. Space is cold, very cold! There is ice at the poles of Mercury you know!

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "two to four million gallons of water per day"

    So that's 7.5 to 15 million liters of pure, drinkable water that is made toxic and, apparently, gets purified before being returned to "the water supply".

    I damn well hope so.

    Now, if the water is being taken from the dam, used, then purified again and returned to the dam, where is the issue ?

    Actually, shouldn't this whole thing be a closed loop, only topping up to compensate for evaporation ?

    The plant should have a 20 million liter reservoir, with water being constantly used, purified, stored and used again.

    Not doing that is a clear sign that used water cannot be purified to the level they need to use it again, meaning it's likely not water that goes back to the dam, nor is it water you'd want to drink.

    1. CrackedNoggin

      Re: "two to four million gallons of water per day"

      They're going to have to do something like that in Arizona, where even the "topping up" is going to be iffy.

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