Water is an important, finite resource and we believe that every drop matters. Minimizing water use, being transparent with our water data, and restoring water in high water stress regions are key pillars of our water stewardship program.
Our water stewardship strategy focuses on sourcing water responsibly, driving water efficiency across our facilities and operations, as well as investing in critical water restoration projects in the same watersheds where our facilities are located.
When it comes to water, using less is not enough. Without it, ecosystems dwindle and communities suffer. In 2021, we announced our goal to become water positive by 2030, when we will restore more water to the environment than we consume for our global operations.
Minimizing water use in data centers
We are proud to say our data centers are among the most water efficient in the world. Within our data centers, water is used to cool our servers and maintain humidity levels. For locations that face environmental challenges – such as high levels of dust, extreme humidity, or elevated salinity – we are constantly finding innovative ways to minimize our water use.
We choose plant species, efficient irrigation, alternative water sources when available, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified new wood products and smart scheduling technologies that together save more than 80 million gallons of water per year.
Restoring local watersheds
Working with local organizations and utilities, we invest in water restoration projects in water-stressed regions that support the communities’ local water supply and help restore local habitats and wildlife.
Since 2017, we have invested in more than 25 water restoration projects in seven watersheds. These projects are expected to restore more than 1.9 billion gallons of water annually.
Restoration is an important part of our strategy to advance water stewardship and promote biodiversity in neighboring communities.
In 2022, Meta joined the UN CEO Water Mandate, a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilizes business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Water Resilience Coalition, a cross-sector initiative to raise the ambition of corporate water stewardship and foster collective impact in priority basins.
Navajo water supply
As the largest contiguous Native American reservation in the continental U.S, the Navajo Nation spans 71,000 kilometers.
Yet, one-third of the Navajo Nation population lack access to running water. Navajo households pay 70 times more for the water they must haul into their homes compared to water users in typical urban areas.
In 2021, we partnered with Dig Deep to provide nearly 300,000 gallons of water per year to 14 Navajo households. Each system includes a 1,200 gallon water tank, indoor plumbing, power connections to provide running water and recurring water delivery to refill the water tank (managed by Navajo community partners).
Driving water efficiency in workplaces
Across our global offices, we implement circular systems to reduce our water use as much as possible. We install water-efficient systems in our kitchens and bathrooms and monitor outdoor water use by planting native species and re-using rainwater where feasible. In our data centers specifically, we have implemented highly efficient cooling designs that use less water by relying on outside air.
2021 Volumetric Water Benefits
2021 Environmental Data Verification
Public Water Reporting: Expanding the Operating Envelope
Driving water efficiency in our data centers helps us achieve our water positive goal by decreasing the amount of water we need to restore. In a recent pilot project at our Los Lunas data center in New Mexico, we realized increased water savings by testing our relative humidity set points. Through the success of this pilot, we have rolled out new relative humidity set point changes to the majority of our operating fleet.
Water Restoration in New Mexico
Minimizing our water use is a key focus at Meta, and we are proud to say our data centers use 80% less water than the average data center. When we started building our Los Lunas Data Center in New Mexico, a region known for its dry climate, we knew we wanted to partner to find sustainable solutions to address a shared water challenge with the community.
Sustainability impact map
We are committed to creating a positive impact on the communities where we operate. That is why all of our renewable energy projects are interconnected to the same electric grid as our facilities. This map highlights our renewable energy procurement and deployment efforts worldwide, water stewardship efforts in the communities we operate in, and other sustainability features across our global portfolio of data centers.
2021 Sustainability Report
We envision a just and equitable transition to a zero-carbon economy and are working to scale inclusive solutions that help create a healthier planet for all.