Big Tech data centers warned for their usage of water in Oregon

Stone Mountain in Georgia, USA

Stone Mountain in Georgia, USA. Photo: Diego Delso. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Google data centers was warned for their usage of water in Oregon, United States today.

The company’s data centers go through millions of gallons of water per day, according a report by the Associated Press, which, combined with a supposed lack of transparency by Google on the proposed site for these centers, has concerned residents of Wasco County, currently suffering an “extreme and exceptional drought”, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

This is not isolated to Oregon. In 2019, Time magazine reported that Google expected to use as much as 1.46 billion gallons of water per year in Red Oak, Texas by 2021. That same year, Google filed a request in Berkeley County, South Carolina to use 1.5 million gallons per day from a “historically threatened” source, an aim since 2016; the request was approved by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Google later reached a settlement with the local conservation league, agreeing to use the permitted water only as a last resort.

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