AWS continues water replenishment collaboration with WaterAid providing nearly 650 million liters of water annually to communities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
NEW DELHI, India —November 28, 2022—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. 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. In India, AWS continues to support water replenishment projects with nonprofit WaterAid that include rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and piped water installations in communities in Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad, Telangana. This collaboration has resulted in nearly 650 million liters of water provided annually to communities and schools through 420 water point installations, 126 rainwater harvesting projects, and 120 groundwater recharge structures.
WaterAid also directly engaged more than 30,000 community members through a water conservation education campaign, teaching residents practical ways to conserve clean water, use rainwater harvesting, and conduct water audits. Taken together, the water supply, replenishment and conservation initiatives have now benefited more than 75,000 people across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Earlier this year, alongside WaterAid, AWS also announced its collaboration with Water.org in India, where over 210,000 people across Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana have benefitted through microfinance loans that help nearby communities finance water pipe connections and toilet installations in homes. The projects with Water.org provide more than 500 million liters of clean water per year to people who previously lacked consistent access to clean water.
“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 has 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 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. For AWS, running our operations sustainably means reducing the amount of water used to cool data centers. Our holistic approach minimizes both energy and water consumption in data center operations and guides the development of our water use strategy for each AWS Region. It starts with evaluating climate patterns, local water management and availability, and opportunities to use sustainable water sources. As a result, AWS does not use water for cooling the data centers in India.
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 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. AWS further improves operational efficiency by eliminating cooling water use in many of its facilities for most of the year, instead relying on outside air. AWS also invests in on-site water-treatment systems that allow it to reuse water multiple times, minimizing water consumed for cooling.
Sustainable sources: AWS uses sustainable water sources, such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting, wherever possible. Using recycled water, which is only suitable for a limited set of applications such as irrigation and industrial use, preserves valuable drinking water for communities. AWS already uses recycled water for cooling in 20 data centers around the world and has plans to expand recycled water use in more facilities as it works toward becoming water+.
Community water reuse: After maximizing the use of water in its data centers, the spent water is still safe for many other uses, and AWS is finding more ways to return it to communities. In Oregon, AWS provides up to 96% of the cooling water from its data centers to local farmers at no charge for use in irrigating crops like corn, soybeans, and wheat.
Water replenishment: To meet its water+ commitment, AWS is investing in water replenishment projects in the communities where it operates. Replenishment projects expand water access, availability, and quality by restoring watersheds and bringing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene services to water-stressed communities. To date, AWS has completed replenishment projects in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and South Africa, providing 1.6 billion liters of freshwater each year to people in those communities.
AWS customers are also using its cloud technology to ingest, analyze, and manage sustainability data. Innovation is key to achieving sustainability goals and AWS offers the broadest and deepest set of capabilities in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, and computing to build sustainability solutions. This includes water conservation. For example, WEGoT Utility Solutions, based in Chennai, developed a cloud enabled water management platform on AWS that uses IoT based ultrasonic water sensors to prevent billions of litres of water from going down the drain. Over the last seven years, WEGoT Utility Solutions has scaled operations, and now processes over 35 million data ingestion points per day across more than 100,000 managed sensors on AWS.
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.”
AWS will report annually on new innovations in water efficiency, community reuse, water replenishment projects, and other activities on its path to achieving its water+ commitment. A full overview of how AWS will meet water+ by 2030 is in our methodology, available here: https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/water
More information on AWS Water+ can also be found at Amazon’s Water Stewardship in Data Centers: https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/water