How much water do data centres use? Most tech companies won’t say

As more data centres are being built to meet growing demand, their water use is coming under scrutiny – particularly in regions of the US affected by the ongoing megadrought

Technology 14 October 2022

Sets of cooling towers in data center building.; Shutterstock ID 368730815; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Cooling towers pump large amounts of water through data centres

Shutterstock/WaitForLight

Most tech companies have water management programs that are rated as weak, and many won’t even disclose how much water they use, according to a new analysis. This comes as much of the world has experienced sweltering heat waves and dried-up rivers amidst the growing impacts of climate change – and the western US is in the 22nd year of its worst drought in more than a millennium.

Megadrought in North America

This story is part of our Parched Earth series …

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