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Water Resource Management

UMC Water Management Policy and Commitment

Recent climate changes have led to severe fluctuations in precipitation with more frequent floods and droughts. External stakeholders are also increasingly concerned about issues related to water resources. To respond to complex water resource issues on a timely basis and effectively integrate prevention, consumption reduction, contingency response, and other management concepts, UMC has successfully completed water risk factor identification and response measures. The UMC Water Resource Management Policy and Commitment was announced in 2015 to serve as our highest guiding principles for water resource management.




Maximize water efficiency, increase ability of valuable downstream chains to withstand water risk, and promote the importance of water resources and conservation.




  1. Introduce water risk management system
  2. Develop and utilize diverse water sources
  3. Use active management indicators to promote water conservation
  4. Cooperate with supply chains to reduce water footprint
  5. Provide open and transparent water information
  6. Widely promote water education



Water Risk Management

Given extreme climates, water risks have become key issues facing businesses, and for the semiconductor industry, water resource risk management has become an urgent issue.



Identifying Water Risk Factors and Response

Risk Dimension: Transitional

Policy and Legal

Potential Risks

  • Regulations and control for wastewater quality / water discharge quantity
  • Water charges

UMC Response

  • Participate in government, unions and association seminars to share practical experience and advice
  • Implement wastewater source diversion to enhance quality of wastewater
  • Continue to assess new wastewater treatment technology
  • Upgrade production efficiency to reduce water consumption and improve water recovery


Technology / Market

Potential Risks

  • Commitment for new technology investment
  • Consumers, customers, investors and other parties of interest require companies to provide green products and expand their influence through the supply chain to indirectly eliminate excessive water-consuming commodities.

UMC Response

  • Promote analysis and certification of environmental impact on product lifecycle as well as promote source reduction. (UMC has passed water footprint certification and continues to promote water saving projects)



Potential Risks

  • Changes in customer preferences
  • Bad reputation brings about negative feedback

UMC Response

  • Will continue to proceed according to UMC’s current direction for water risk response (No significant risk)



Risk Dimension: Physical


Potential Risks

  • The intensity and frequency of natural disasters caused by typhoons may prevent employees from going to work, may cause damage to fab facilities, and may disrupt energy and raw materials supply.
  • Change of water source resulting in the change of water quality.

UMC Response

  • Improve flood potential and risk assessments
  • Promoting business continuity management system
  • Globalize fabs and supply chain
  • Assess suppliers' water risk
  • Water quality risk assessment was conducted



Potential Risks

  • Rising sea level from global warming may lead to inland flooding, resulting in reduced clean water sources, water shortages and abnormal infrastructure damage to fab facilities.

UMC Response

  • Reduce pressure of water demand by increasing water recovery and reuse
  • Use limited water resources efficiently
  • Evaluate and introduce new water sources
  • Water Risk Management Tool Development
  • Incorporate location considerations into future site selection
  • Establish a water contingency plan



Water Risk Management Tool Development

With regard to the water resource issue, besides the continuous implementation of water saving measures, UMC has collaborated with the Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University in 2015~2016 to develop the “Water Shortage Warning and Decision Support System for UMC’s Fabs in Hsinchu Science Park and Southern Science Industrial Park.”A seasonal (3 months) water shortage warning system was established to simulate the warning system used in the Water Resources Agency, MOEA. In addition, the seasonal broadcasting data from the Central Weather Bureau was incorporated into the system to offer water supply predictions. With this tool, UMC’s fabs will know in advance about any possible water shortages. By combining with UMC’s water shortage response measures, operation risk can be significantly reduced.





Water Conservation During Manufacturing

UMC’s first principle of water consumption is designing a water conserving process, followed by recovering water for reuse and highly efficient water management. To effectively reduce water resource consumption, all three principles must be integrated. In addition to conserving water, the company also actively participates in the Science Park Administration’s water management indicator formulation and annual manufacturer water conservation counseling and technology exchanges. To ensure a secure water supply, the company also participates in the Water Resources Agency’s water shortage contingency measures for water source stabilization and eutrophication. Impacted by global climate change, UMC strives to promote energy conservation and carbon reduction activities, and include them in its management policy. Hence water conservation and improvement activities are ongoing to provide further opportunities for company growth.



UMC Eight Water Conservation Measures Approach

  1. Develop policy and implement effective water conservation.
  2. Recover resource, and curb and reduce resource use.
  3. Continue to improve and integrate with environmental protection.
  4. Through daily management approaches, achieve management outcome.
  5. Divert wastewater, implement multiple re-use and optimize water efficiency.
  6. Establish water resources management system, compare with water consumption balance diagram and use water rationally.
  7. Integration and sharing of technological resources by the Fab Technical Committee.
  8. Directly incorporate water conservation measures into regulations for newly constructed fabs.



The reduction targets and plans

The reduction targets and plans

Reduction Goal

  • Compared to 2015, reduce intensity of water consumption by 10% in 2020.
  • Compared to 2015, reduce intensity of water consumption by 15% in 2025.

2019 Actual Reduction

  • Additional reduction of 187,000 tons of water consumption for the year, reaching the annual targeted goal.



Percentage and Total Water Recycle and Reuse

Due to its past promotion of water conservation, reduction and recycling measures, and its high recovery rate in the manufacturing process, UMC's current water recovery has exceeded the newly increased total water intake. Total water recovery and reuse could reach more than 200% of water intake.


Figure: Percentage of Water Recovery and Reuse to Total Water Withdrawal

2019_recycle_water_en.jpg (142 KB)

Note: Total water withdrawal includes municipal water + condensate water and rainwater.



Water Resources Sharing and Social Participation

In addition to internal water resource assessment and management and active promotion of water conservation, UMC also serves as a representative in industrial unions/associations. The company cooperates with the government and industrial peers in water resources communication and exchange counseling through the following mechanisms:


  1. Water resources communication meetings convened by the Water Resources Agency and manufacturer's associations.
  2. Increased water resources adjustment and coordination by manufacturers and the Water Resources Agency during dry season.
  3. In cooperation with the Water Resources Agency's promotion of reclaimed water construction, UMC plans to use reclaimed water.
  4. Establish a communication platform meeting with the Water Resources Agency to meet future water supply and demand.



Exchange and Counseling with Industry Peers

UMC has participated in the establishment of water conservation coaching in the Science Park annually since 2002. As of 2019, it has conducted a total of 199 cases and coached more than 80 companies, sharing the company’s valuable experience in water conservation with industry peers to reduce the demand for water resources. For example, in 2019, the potential quantity of water saved after coaching was 340,000 tons/year. In 2018, UMC carried out water conservation coaching and tracked the performance of 8 companies, realizing savings of 39,000 tons of water.



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