[Google Plans Construction of a Data Center in Uruguay, Using Millions of Liters of Water Amid Drought] - The Guardian

A plan to build a Google data centre that will use millions of litres of water a day has sparked anger in Uruguay, which is suffering its worst drought in 74 years.

Water shortages are so severe in the country that a state of emergency has been declared in Montevideo and the authorities have added salty water to the public drinking water supplies, prompting widespread protests.

Critics claim that the government is prioritising water for transnationals and agribusiness at the expense of its own citizens. Daniel Pena, a researcher at the University of the Republic in Montevideo, said: “Only a tiny proportion of water in Uruguay is used for human consumption. The majority is used for big agro industries, such as soya, rice and wood pulping. Now we have Google planning to use enormous quantities of water.”

The search giant has bought 29 hectares (72 acres) of land to build a datacentre in Canelones department, in southern Uruguay. The centre would use 7.6m litres (2m gallons) of water a day to cool its servers – equivalent to the domestic daily use of 55,000 people, according to figures from the Ministry of Environment obtained by Pena through legal action. The water would come directly from the public drinking water system, according to Pena.

Uruguay’s industry ministry says these figures are out of date because the company is revising its plans, and the datacentre will be “a smaller size”.

Read the full story here

The Guardian

Locations: Canelones, Uruguay Uruguay 

Organizations: University of the Republic (Uruguay) 

People: Daniel Pena 

Tags: Thirst Drought Corporate Negligence Corruption Farming 

Type: Headlines