Google’s Data Centers Used 4 Billion Gallons of Water in 2021

The storage of data is necessary, but it can also be directly contributing to the climate crisis around the world. Google is an especially egregious culprit in this regard, with the tech juggernaut’s data centers using around 3.3 billion gallons of water in the US alone back in 2021. If you include the nearly 1 billion gallons of water it used elsewhere, or 971 million to be precise, this comes up to a total of around 4.3 billion gallons.

This information came out during a legal dispute between the The Dalles in Oregon and a media agency known as The Oregonian. This dispute was about how much of the local community’s water Google was using for its data centers, and it turned out that that city alone was providing over 274 million gallons of water to the tech company with all things having been considered and taken into account.

It is important to note that the amount of water Google’s data centers are using has increased dramatically over the past five years. Water usage has tripled in that time, and that sheds some light on how unsustainable such practices might be in the future. Water will become more scarce, and that will make it harder for Google to justify using so much of it than might have been the case otherwise.

Google has admitted that it uses as much water as about 29 golf courses. That isn’t heartening because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up draining entire communities of their much needed water supplies.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, Google has stated that it plans to build two more data centers in The Dalles area. That will put a further strain on the community, and it will be interesting to see if anyone manages to do anything about it. Google is an innovative enterprise, so they might be able to come up with a long term solution on their own if they are urged to.

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