Drought-stricken Holland discovers Microsoft data center slurped 84m liters of drinking water last yearAfter the company and local authority sai...Drought-stricken Holland discovers Microsoft data center slurped 84m liters of drinking water last year
After the company and local authority said the facility would only need 12 to 20 million liters
Microsoft's giant data center complex in North Holland consumed 84 million liters (84,000 cubic meters) of water during 2021, a year when heat caused severe water shortages.
Microsoft, and the municipality of Hollands-Kroon, had previously said the Middenmeer facility would only need 12m to 20m liters per year, but local news outlet Noordhollands Dagblad uncovered classified figures which revealed the site, where Microsoft runs multiple data centers, used 84 million liters. Google also runs large data centers in the same area using the same cooling technology.
microsoft middenmeer hollands krron netherlands google maps.png
– Google Maps
The figures suggest that this year's consumption will be significantly higher - during a time when the Netherlands has announced a drought.
Opposition in Hollands Kroon
Microsoft's activities in Middenmeer have faced long-running opposition from farmers over their water consumption, but the Hollands-Kroon municipality approved new Microsoft data centers there early in 2021, alongside the existing plant. This proved controversial, with the province of Noord-Holland attempting to over-rule that decision, and the Hollands-Kroon municipality backing the Microsoft proposal.