The City Council in The Dalles voted unanimously Monday night, 5-0, to approve a $28.5 million deal with Google to provide more water for the tech company to cool two new data centers there.
The issue had trained national attention on the small city, which sits along the Columbia River about 80 miles east of Portland, and the broader question of water rights in the drought-stricken West.
Google and The Dalles have refused to say just how much water the company’s three existing data centers use and would not say how much more it wants for the two new ones, though the city asserts it would be less than the new water capacity created by Monday’s deal.
While Google’s water demands sparked heated denunciation on social media pages in The Dalles, and some councilors reported receiving angry and profane phone calls and emails, no organized opposition emerged and the council lined up behind the deal.
“There’s a net benefit to the city in proceeding with these improvements,” said Dave Anderson, the city’s public works director. Under any conceivable scenario, he said, The Dalles will have more water available through the deal with Google than it would have otherwise.
Monday’s vote was the third of three key approvals Google said it needed before expanding.
Last month, the city and Wasco County each voted to approve a package of tax breaks for Google. The new tax deal, while far less generous than two prior agreements with the tech company, would still save Google tens…