AWS announces ‘water positive’ pledge and global water replenishment programs

At re:Invent 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it will be water positive by 2030, committing to return more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations, and also to report annually on its water use efficiency (WUE). 

To  showcase its pledge to sustainability, AWS reported its 2021 WUE metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt hour, demonstrating the company’s water efficient operations.

Reportedly, the company will also up its water reuse and recycling efforts, implement new measures to reduce water consumption in its facilities, and bolster new and existing replenishment projects.

“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” said AWS chief executive officer (CEO), Adam Selipsky.

As part of this commitment, AWS will leverage cloud services such as Internet of Things (IOT) technologies to improve its infrastructure, analyze real-time water use, and identify and fix leaks. The company also seeks to eliminate cooling water use in many of its facilities for most of the year and rely mostly on outside air. To minimize cooling water, AWS also announced investments in on-site water treatment systems that allow multiple water reuses.

Furthermore, AWS boasted that the company’s use of sustainable water sources such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting for specific purposes like irrigation and industrial use is safe and  is helping preserve drinking water for communities. 

Additionally, the company unveiled new water replenishment projects, aimed at expanding water access and quality by restoring watersheds and bringing clean water and sanitation to water-stressed communities. 

These projects in India, UK and US, in collaboration with water conservation non-profits, include the building of piped water systems, groundwater recharge projects, education campaigns, and the creation of wetlands and use of winter water to recharge millions of litres of groundwater and improve water quality. Once completed, AWS said that these projects will provide more than 823 million liters of water to communities each year

So far, AWS has completed replenishment projects in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, and, it says, provides 1.6 billion liters of freshwater each year to people in those communities.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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