Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced it will be water positive (water+) by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations. The company also announced its 2021 global water use efficiency (WUE) metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt-hour, demonstrating AWS’s leadership in water efficiency among cloud providers.
AWS is already well on the path to becoming water+ and as part of this new commitment will report annually on its WUE metric, new water reuse and recycling efforts, new activities to reduce water consumption in its facilities, and advancements in new and existing replenishment projects.
“Water scarcity is a major issue around the world and with today’s water positive announcement we are committing to do our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “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. We are committed to leading on water stewardship in our cloud operations, and returning more water than we use in the communities where we operate. We know this is the right thing to do for the environment and our customers.”
AWS has been driving four key strategies in pursuit of becoming water+ by 2030: improving water efficiency, using sustainable water sources, returning water for community reuse, and supporting water replenishment projects.
Water efficiency: AWS is constantly innovating across its infrastructure to reduce water consumption. It achieves its industry-leading water efficiency by using advanced cloud services, such as Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, to analyze real-time water use and identify and fix leaks.
Sustainable sources: AWS uses sustainable water sources, such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting, wherever possible.
Community water reuse: After maximizing the use of water in its data centers, the spent liquid is still safe for many other uses, and AWS is finding more ways to return it to communities.
Water replenishment: To meet its water+ commitment, AWS is investing in water replenishment projects in the communities where it operates.
Today’s announcement adds to Amazon’s commitment of $10 million to Water.org to support the launch of the Water & Climate Fund, which will deliver climate-resilient water and sanitation solutions to 100 million people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This donation will directly empower 1 million people with water access by 2025, providing 3 billion liters of water each year to people in water scarce areas.
“Our work with Amazon is supported by the shared belief that solving the global water crisis is possible. We commend AWS for committing to return more water than it uses by announcing Water+ by 2030,” said Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org. Gary White, Water.org CEO and co-founder, added, “Our collaboration with Amazon and AWS already brings over 805 million liters of safe water to communities around the world every year, and we are excited to continue to work with Amazon to bring even more safe water to families in need.”
“WateReuse Association celebrates AWS’s commitment to go water positive by 2030, and for integrating water recycling as a key component in its goal to protect water resources, local ecosystems, and spur economic development,” said Patricia Sinicropi, executive director of WateReuse Association. “The progress AWS has made in using recycled water for cooling in 20 of their data centers already shows great leadership for the industry. We look forward to collaborating with Amazon to implement water reuse for the benefit of their operations and for the communities in which they operate.”
“AWS’s announcement to be water positive by 2030 demonstrates a clear commitment to water stewardship and sustainability,” said Mary Wenzel, managing director of corporate engagement at The Nature Conservancy. “AWS’s support of our work has helped improve water security for people and nature in water-stressed regions in South Africa and Brazil. We look forward to continuing our relationship with AWS to improve water quality and quantity by protecting and restoring watersheds around the world.”