Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced its commitment to become a water-positive company by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations.
It has been driving four key strategies to achieve its goal – improving water efficiency, using sustainable water sources, returning water for community reuse and supporting water replenishment projects.
The company uses advanced cloud services, such as Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, to analyse real-time water use and identify and fix leaks and improves operational efficiency by eliminating cooling water use in many of its facilities for most of the year, relying on outside air instead.
It also uses sustainable water sources, such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting, wherever possible and after maximising the use of water in its data centres, the spent liquid is still safe for many other uses and therefore AWS is finding more ways to return it to communities.
For example, in Oregon, AWS provides up to 96% of the cooling water from its data centres to local farmers at no charge for use in irrigating crops like corn, soybeans and wheat.
In addition, the company is investing in water replenishment projects in the communities it operates in – to date, it has completed replenishment projects in Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa, providing 1.6 billion litres of freshwater each year to people in those communities.
Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS said: “Water scarcity is a major issue around the world and with today’s water-positive announcement we are committing to do our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge.
“In just a few years half of the world’s population is projected to live in water-stressed areas, so to ensure all people have access to water, we all need to innovate new ways to help conserve and reuse this precious resource. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we know there is more we can do. We are committed to leading on water stewardship in our cloud operations and returning more water than we use in the communities where we operate. We know this is the right thing to do for the environment and our customers.”