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How we're supporting watershed health in southern Nevada

Aerial view of Lake Mead and surrounding area

We use water to help cool many of our data centers, including our Henderson, Nevada, campus that became operational in 2019. In 2021, we announced our goal to replenish 120% of the freshwater we consume, on average, across our offices and data centers by 2030. We also committed to supporting water security in communities where we operate, with an emphasis on water-stressed areas like Henderson.

In 2023, our water stewardship efforts replenished more water to the Colorado River Basin than the freshwater consumed at our Henderson data center. Here’s a look at how we collaborated with local organizations to progress towards these goals and our continued investments in the community.

Accelerate local initiatives

We worked with industry-leading organizations and local agencies, like the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), to identify high-impact water stewardship projects that address specific challenges facing Lake Mead and the Colorado River Basin.

For example, we co-funded initiatives with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT), a leader in conservation projects, to help conserve Colorado River water and advance CRIT’s environmental priorities. These projects include:

  • replacing flood irrigation with N-Drip’s precision drip irrigation on 1,500 acres of agricultural land to improve water efficiency and crop yield,
  • restoring irrigation canals, which included lining a leaky canal to reduce water loss, and
  • general system conservation to help shore up declining water levels in Lake Mead and improve water resilience in the area.
A small reservoir built on the edge of one of the fields controls the water elevation and therefore the pressure in the drip lines in the field seen in the background. Photo credit: BEF, 2024

A small reservoir built on the edge of one of the fields controls the water elevation and therefore the pressure in the drip lines in the field seen in the background. Photo credit: BEF, 2024

Beyond replenishment, we are supporting pilot projects with WaterStart, a Henderson-based non-profit. The initial pilot project employs ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to purify groundwater, an important supplementary water source for SNWA, without the use of chemicals. This is the first full scale UV-LED reactor being used at a US drinking water utility with a goal to validate the technology according to federal guidelines. SNWA is already working with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection to obtain approval to utilize this technology across its well network.

Our collaboration with Google supports our commitment to environmental stewardship and water management and efficiency, including our ability to pilot and deploy new technologies that benefit our community today and provide a more sustainable future. John Entsminger
General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority

Drive local economic impact

As of the end of 2023, we’ve invested more than $4.7 million in replenishment and watershed health projects in the Las Vegas Valley and Lower Colorado River Basin. However, our engagement in communities across Nevada does not stop there.

We’ve also helped provide over $6.28 billion of economic activity for tens of thousands of Nevada businesses, publishers, nonprofits, creators and developers. And to date, we’ve provided over $1 million in support for Nevada-based nonprofits and organizations, including Communities in Schools, Southern Nevada Trades High School, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and more.

Our commitment to innovation, community and the environment has only deepened since opening our data centers in Nevada. Learn more about Google data centers and our commitment to sustainable operations.

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