With drought sucking the Western US dry, Google announced new plans to protect vital water resources. Google guzzles up water to cool its data centers, three of which are in the drought-stricken West. To offset its thirst, the company said that by 2030, it wants to replenish 120 percent of the water it consumes.
Google guzzles up water to cool its data centers, three of which are in the drought-stricken West
Google laid out three strategies to accomplish that goal: using water more efficiently in its operations, partnering with communities to make watersheds healthier, and offering its technologies as tools to predict and prevent water stress.
The company has faced pushback from communities near its data center in South Carolina and a new one to be built in Arizona. Residents there were worried that Google would burn through too much of their water. Arizona farmers are already facing deep water cuts because of a historically awful drought.
If Google succeeds in replenishing more water than it uses, it will become “water positive.” It’s the latest trend in environmental pledges from companies including Facebook and Microsoft.
They’re all in a race with climate change, which is intensifying droughts in already parched places like California, Arizona, and Nevada. Ninety-five percent of Nevada, where Google has two data centers, is in a “severe” drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. And “severe” drought plagues more than 93 percent of California,…