Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability logo

We've got a new name! Read the announcement. (A new website is under development.)

September 21, 2020

Microsoft’s Latest Environmental Pledge Tackles Water Scarcity

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Microsoft has made a new commitment to replenish even more water than it uses for its global operations by 2030, making the company “water positive." One of the most dangerous effects climate change will have on society is water scarcity, which is what Microsoft is trying to tackle so that its water-guzzling data centers don’t continue to contribute to the problem, reports The Verge.

“These data farms in my mind have become a bit of a boogeyman for people in already water-stressed basins,” said Martin Doyle, who directs the Water Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Though he has misgivings about Microsoft opening new data centers in places like Arizona next year, Doyle told The Verge that he’s seen Big Tech make strides to build new data centers that are “unbelievably water efficient.”