Microsoft has announced plans to produce more water than it consumes. They will begin to restore the “water balance” starting in 2035.
According to the United Nations (UN) Water Resources Authority, over 2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. The organization estimates that by 2050 one in four people will live in a country with a shortage of freshwater. According to the World Bank, the reduced availability of fresh water, combined with increased demand for it, could reduce water availability in cities by more than 66% by 2050.
The company is concerned that most of the planet’s water is not potable or suitable for crops. At the same time, freshwater in the world is unevenly distributed and is not available in that part of the world where it is needed more. According to Microsoft, now humanity uses about 4.3 trillion cubic meters of water per year – most of it goes to agricultural and industrial use.
“This has to change. That’s why we’re announcing a new commitment from Microsoft – by 2030, we want to produce more water than we consume. We solve the problem of water consumption in two ways: we reduce the intensity of its consumption and replenish water supplies in regions where it is scarce. This means that by 2030 Microsoft will be producing more water than the company consumes. ”
Microsoft press release
They will add water to pools where researchers are observing a lack of drinking water. The amount of water they need to produce will be determined depending on how much the company spends and what water needs a particular region has.
Microsoft will also invest in projects that rehabilitate wetlands and remove impenetrable surfaces such as asphalt to help replenish water supplies back to the basins that need it most. We will focus our water replenishment efforts in some 40 high-stress pools in which we operate. They will pay special attention to pools with “high stress” – if the volume of water withdrawn exceeds 40% of the volume of renewable sources. There are 4,717 swimming pools in the world that fall under this category.