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Google and Pepsi donate money to help repair watershed damaged by 1990 Dude Fire

When Google announced plans to build a data center in Mesa, it said it will use air instead of water to cool the facility. The tech giant will take additional steps toward water conservation.

In 1990, the Dude Fire killed six firefighters and left a burn scar on the East Verde River watershed that fire managers continue to restore.

Salt River Project says Google will donate $150,000 to one of its restoration projects.

Elvy Barton, a spokewoman for SRP, said that part of the project involves removing brushy growth and restoring ponderosa pines about 11 miles north of Payson.

"A healthy forest means that we have a more resilient watershed and local ecosystems which not only benefits trees and animals, but also all the people that rely on those water supplies," Barton said.

She says that Pepsi will donate a quarter of a million dollars to another project in the area.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.