Friday, February 03, 2023
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Google Sucks The Soul – And Water – Out Of Megadrought Areas



Google wants you to think that they care about the environment. Like Pete Buttigieg, who thinks that you should either buy a $65,000-dollar electric car or ride public transportation. All the while, he is flying on taxpayer funded private jets.

Well, while Oregon and the entire western U.S. has been suffering through the worst megadrought on record, Google demanded that it needed more water to cool its data centers. They also decided that the amount of water that they extracted was none of the affected areas business.

The residents of Dalles, Oregon disagreed. Since the drought was affecting over 540,000 people in their state, they wanted to know exactly how much water was being used by the local data center.

The Oregonian, which is the state’s largest newspaper, pressed Google to release the information. However, the city of Dalles came to Googles defense and sued the newspaper in an attempt to keep the information private.

The suit stated that the company’s water consumption statistics are exempt from being disclosed because they are “trade secrets.” How does “trade secret” status apply? The suit claims that (1) the information is not patented, (2) the information is known by only specific individuals within the company, (3) the information has potential commercial value, (4) in a competitive market, if disclosed, this information could be used by competitors to obtain a business advantage, (5) public interest doesn’t demand disclosure in this instance.

Ellen Osoinach, a Lawyer with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, represented the Oregonian. She attacked the transparency issue stating:

“The information itself is of the highest public interest. This is a limited communal resource and the west is in a drought.”

She then added:

“There are data centers all over the country and right here in Oregon and the amount of water they consume is something that’s incredibly important to all water users.” 

You may be wondering why the city would come to the aid of Google while at the same time diminishing the concerns of its own citizens. The answer is simple; money. When Google demanded more water for its cooling processes, the city agreed with one caveat, Google would pay to upgrade the city’s water system. Based on this agreement, the city council voted last fall on a $28.5 million dollar water pact with Google.

For whatever reason, the lawsuit was dropped this week. The Dalles mayor stated that the city dropped the suit because Google determined that its water consumption values did not attain trade secret status. I find it curious that it took 13 months to determine such an obvious fact.

In conjunction with the suit being dropped, Google also revealed its water metrics for 2021. According to Google, it withdrew 358.3 million gallons of water and discharged 83.8 million gallons for a net usage amount of 274.5 million gallons last year.

While 274.5 million gallons of water represents quite a withdrawal from a drought ravaged area, it pales in comparison to other areas of the country.

In Mayes County Oklahoma Google withdrew 671.2 million gallons and in Council Bluffs Iowa Google sucked up 845.8 million gallons.

Overall, it is reported that the company guzzled up 3.36 Billion gallons of water last year alone across the U.S.

Urs Holzle is the Senior Vice President of Google’s “technical infrastructure.” In a November blog he wrote:

“Water is the most efficient means of cooling. When used responsibly, water cooling can play an important role in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change. Water-cooled data centers use about 10% less energy and thus emit roughly 10% less carbon emissions than many air-cooled data centers. In 2021, water cooling helped us reduce the energy-related carbon footprint of our data center portfolio by roughly 300,000 tons of Co2.”

John Devoe, the Executive Director of WaterWatch put it this way:

 “I don’t like to see the region’s rivers and aquifers compromised so that Google can make money off of advertising and data sales. To me, that’s a poor exchange.”

The State Government stated that water supplies in many of Oregon reservoirs are much lower than usual which causes:

“Significant impacts on community water supplies, agricultural yields, and the health of ecosystems.”

So while the state government is instructing residents to shorten their showers, and to use dropped ice cubes to water plants, Google is siphoning up 3.36 Billion gallons of water. Damaging the crops of farmers and altering the lifestyle of average Americans.

All of this to appease a crazed group of leftists that falsely believe fractionally reducing Co2 levels will save a planet that isn’t in danger.

Sigh.