Microsoft Wants to be Water Positive

The scarcity of safe drinking water remains one of the biggest problems worldwide, and more and more companies are addressing energy and sustainability issues. As part of this, Microsoft presented its plan to combat global water scarcity.

Microsoft’s sustainability plans
Since the beginning of the year, Microsoft has presented a whole series of innovative strategies to meet the company’s sustainability goals. In January the Natick project was presented with the intention of making data centers work under water in the future in order to cool the computers in an energy-saving way. Microsoft then announced in July that it had used hydrogen fuel cells to power data center servers within 48 hours. In October, the mega-corporation presented its latest innovative plan to tackle the world’s energy and sustainability problems: The company plans to be “water positive” by the end of the decade at the latest.

Microsoft is going water positive
Microsoft wants to be water positive by 2030 at the latest. But what does that actually mean? Behind the project is the sustainability goal of using less water than replenishing it by the end of the decade. In a press release, Microsoft President Brad Smith said, “We are taking two approaches to addressing our water usage: reducing water usage intensity – or water usage per megawatt of energy used in our operations – and replenishing the water in the regions we operate with.” Water shortage “. But these plans pose some challenges. In the press release Microsoft writes that especially the worldwide access to drinking water is the biggest problem. Because clean drinking water is still a scarce commodity worldwide.

The global shortage of drinking water
“To stay ahead of the global water crisis, less water must be used to run economies and societies, and efforts must be made to ensure that there is enough water in the places where it is most needed This requires a reshaping in the way we manage our water systems and in a concerted effort by all organizations to account for and balance their water use, “said Smith. While mankind has to struggle with an abundance of problems such as the corona pandemic or climate change, an inadequate drinking water supply is also a major challenge. According to current WHO data, almost 800 million people do not have permanent access to clean drinking water. The information provided by the United Nations is also alarming, as half of all people should live in an area by 2025 in which there is no basic drinking water supply.

Microsoft’s replenishment strategy
Microsoft has made this problem its task and has already presented a possible solution. A kind of “replenishment strategy” should not only guarantee the restoration of wetlands, but also initiate initiatives to remove impermeable surfaces such as asphalt. In addition, the company plans to build rainwater collection and waste treatment plants to ensure that all of the non-potable water on the Microsoft campus is made available from recycled sources. The collected water should then replace the drinking water in toilets, for example. The latest Microsoft data centers, which have so far been cooled by water, are also to have a more sustainable cooling system thanks to new innovative strategies.