Corporate Water Weekly
December 6, 2023

Peter Cook, Editor

Busy week for news and opinions about corporate water!  This week there was a heavy focus on the water use in data centers, AI, and semiconductor manufacturing.  There is a bit of overlap in the articles, but each had aspects which I thought merited being included in the Corporate Water Weekly.


Don’t wait to register for the 2024 Corporate Water Industry Update, being held in Austin on February 20th!  We’ll be touching on a lot of the topics which are covered in this week’s issue.  I’ll also trying to pull together a panel discussing best practices in pulling together a business case to ask for additional investment in water management in the company budget (so it is not just viewed as an expense, but can also be valued for savings, potential revenue generation, ESG value, community relations, etc.).  Let me know ( if you might be interested in being a part of such a discussion.


I know there are a lot of articles this week, so I wanted to make sure you did not overlook:

  • The piece discussing how researchers found how two types of industrial wastewater can be used to purify each other (produced water from oil & gas and cooling tower blowdown).  I wonder if there is a similar possibility for Texas data centers to utilize some of the produced water from shale drilling.
  • Somewhat related to that, the Governor of New Mexico announced that the state will be spending $500M to buy treated produced water for use in manufacturing and industrial applications, freeing up fresh water for drinking water.
  • And finally, I am looking forward to the Valuing Water Finance Initiative webinar “Unveiling Company Progress on Water Stewardship” on Friday.  They’ll “Review key takeaways from the benchmark demonstrating how the 72 focus companies are performing against six Corporate Expectations for Valuing Water” and “Discuss how leading practices can be an opportunity for all companies to elevate their efforts to reduce water risk .”  Should be good.


And now, the news…

Corporate Water Weekly – Issue #4

Europe: Companies required to disclose water use

Companies with activities in Europe are required to disclose information on their water use and their water resources. The further protection of water and marine resources in the EU is one of the objectives of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive that came into force in January 2023. The new directive requires EU and non-EU companies to file annual sustainability reports alongside their financial statements.

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Semiconductor sustainability: Chips take a smaller byte out of resources

Modern, new greenfield plants could help improve the industry scorecard, but manufacturing transformation can help both the greenfield plants and existing brownfield plants do better for energy, water, and process gas use.

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IC Manufacturing Targets Less Water, Less Waste

Fabs, OSATs, and equipment makers are accelerating their efforts to consume less water while recycling more material waste in a trend toward better sustainability.

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Quick LinkedIn Post on Resource Intensity (Including Water) for Chip Manufacturing

Claus Aasholm shares a couple of graphs from the Deloitte report included above.

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New report reveals alarming water pollution from crypto mining

A recent report has sparked concern among environmental advocates over the significant water consumption and pollution caused by cryptocurrency mining.

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ASM announces €300M expansion of U.S. operations in Scottsdale, Arizona

Semiconductor manufacturing is investing in a global technology and innovation center which will house a variety of functions under one roof, allowing ASM departments to collaborate more efficiently. This includes investing in leading-edge lab equipment and state-of-the-art infrastructure not just for research and development, but also for renewable energy, a water recycling facility, and other sustainability features.

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The Tech Industry's Role In Developing Water Sustainability

In this article, the author looks at how water consumption is also increasing with the development and increasing popularity of AI before explaining why all tech leaders must take steps to manage this issue.

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Dutch chip equipment maker ASM to invest $324M in new Arizona headquarters

ASM is expanding operations in the state with a 20-acre Scottsdale campus that will allow the company to collaborate more closely with top customers like Intel.

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Webinar: Water, Energy, Sustainability: Grundfos's Impact on the Semiconductor Sector

Grundfos experts will discuss how today’s technology can help companies advance toward their net zero targets while also addressing the water challenges through reuse and optimization solutions.

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Meta turns on the power for $1 billion DeKalb (Illinois) data center

Three years after breaking ground, Meta turned on its massive $1 billion DeKalb data center Wednesday, firing up banks of servers and network equipment to power everything from Facebook and Instagram posts to the uncharted virtual realm of the metaverse.

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Facebook owner Meta Platforms revealed as company eyeing El Paso for $800M data center

The company's name was revealed Monday when the El Paso City Council and the El Paso County Commissioners Court approved providing up to $110 million in incentives, almost all of those in the form of property (real estate and equipment) tax rebates over 25 years, to get the company to locate an $800 million data center in El Paso.

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Where does the water used by Iowa data centers go?

In a previous report, WHO 13 found that data centers across central Iowa use up to hundreds of thousands of gallons of water each day. While the data centers aren’t using a concerning amount of water right now, according to local officials and experts, some still wondered where the water is going in the first place.

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A ‘thirsty’ generative AI boom poses a growing problem for Big Tech

A global rush for the next wave of generative artificial intelligence is increasing public scrutiny on Big Tech’s expanding water footprint.

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It’s not just electricity — Bitcoin mines burn through a lot of water, too

A new analysis measures Bitcoin’s water footprint, and it’s growing.

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Microsoft wants to bring a sixth data center, called Ruthenium, to West Des Moines

The data centers have not come without some environmental concerns and worries of neighboring property owners, but they also have been part of a construction boon that's supported the development of public infrastructure in West Des Moines as well as development of advanced artificial intelligence systems.

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Google: Our commitment to climate-conscious data center cooling

Google’s Vice President, Technical Infrastructure: “We take a climate-conscious approach to cooling our data centers, as we continue to deliver on our commitments to champion responsible water use and operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.”

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Two new delegates join forces to sound alarm over growth of data center industry

Two newly elected members of the Virginia House of Delegates — even before they take office — are sounding the alarm about the costs of the rapidly expanding data center industry in Virginia.

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Virginia Environmental Groups Form New Data Center Reform Coalition, Call for More Industry Oversight

With energy and water demand from data centers set to spike in the next two decades, environmentalists want to bring their growth in line with the state’s clean-energy and environmental goals. I'm hesitant to even include this article as this appears to be a small handful of loud people. But you should be aware of it as this type of thing can impact social license.

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Data Center Coalition defends Virginia hub against environmental critics

Responds to launch of the Virginia Data Center Reform Coalition.

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Startups look to revamp power-guzzling data centers

As AI workloads strain traditional facilities, these 10 startups are working to reduce resource consumption through liquid cooling, digital boiler technology, and net zero data center initiatives.

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Inside Xi Li's Human-Centric Approach to Big Data Innovation

“We've designed our systems to be responsive and intuitive to the community's requirements, ensuring efficiency in water management," says Li.

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Innovations and Investments: The Unfolding Story of India's Data Center Industry

Data centers are currently grappling with a myriad of challenges, driven by the ever-increasing demand for data center capacity and the imperative to bolster energy efficiency while mitigating environmental impacts. These challenges encompass infrastructure, cooling, and power dynamics.

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Hydroleap partners with IXT to revolutionise water management in data centres

This collaboration has the potential to revolutionise water management within cooling towers and enable the data centre industry to reduce water and chemical use, diminish their carbon footprint and enhance regulatory compliance.

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Overheating datacenter stopped 2.5 million bank transactions

Outages at two banks that stopped 2.5 million payment transactions were sparked by a technical issue with the datacenter's cooling system.

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Rethinking Mine Water Management for Strategic Advantage

Mine operators are looking to technology to solve a rising demand for water resulting from changing regulations or in areas of water scarcity. Xylem director of sales and services Ken Albaugh details the quandaries and solutions.

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ESG Metal: The Rise Of Responsible Mining

We can never escape the footprint of mining, but we can improve our understanding of its impact and minimize the negative effects.

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Southwire 2022 Sustainability Report: Water & Wastewater

Manufacturer outlines their approach to sustainability, with a heavy focus on water.

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Pulp and Paper Manufacturing - Water Quality Explained

A nice, quick overview of water sourcing, use, and treatment in pulp and paper manufacturing.

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Webinar: Impact of Water Use and Reuse in Food Production and Processing on Food Safety at the Consumer Phase: Focus on the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Products Sector

December 14 webinar organized by: Water Safety and Quality PDG, International Food Protection Issues PDG, Fruits and Vegetables Safety Quality PDG

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State grant could help Waterbury brewery curb its wastewater

Last month, Freak Folk Bier received a grant from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s wastewater management program that would pay for upgrades to keep its sludge out of the waste stream.

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Two Types of Industrial Wastewater That Purify Each Other

The utilization of two types of industrial wastewater to cleanse each other, as demonstrated by simulations by West Virginia University researchers, has the potential to reduce the overall water consumption of a power plant.

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New Mexico to buy $500M of treated brackish water under new initiative

The strategy has been used in other contexts recently, including vaccine production and carbon capture technologies.

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Webinar: Unveiling Company Progress on Water Stewardship

Our new Valuing Water Finance Initiative benchmark assesses where companies from the food, beverage, apparel, and high-tech industries are on their journey to protect their bottom lines and help ensure a water-sustainable future for all by 2030. Tune in as we unpack the results.

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