Apple splashes cash on water storage facility to cool its data centers


Don't be a afraid of the water ip68
The $8.7 million project will benefit both Apple and the local community.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple will splash out (pun intended) $8.7 million to help build an underground water storage facility in Prineville, Oregon.

Apple has two data centers in the area. Cooling them requires massive amounts of water, which has made Apple Prineville’s biggest water user. The new water storage facility will service both Apple and the city.

It’s difficult to work out exactly how much water Apple uses in the area. However, it’s likely around 10 percent of 600 million gallons used locally. Based on 2016 data, Apple’s first Prineville data center used 27 million gallons that year. It has since added its second data center in the area.

The underwater storage facility is intended to collect water at times of the year when local river levels are high. Prineville has been researching its water storage project for five years. It thinks it could store around 180 million gallons at first, with additional wells bringing this figure to around 400 million gallons.

Apple has previously invested in a water recycling treatment plant in the area. The reason for the new investment may be because of Apple’s current plans to expand its Prineville data center by 50 percent. Its data centers in Prineville house the server farms Apple uses for its iCloud services.

Apple originally chose the location because of its low cost land and cool desert climates at night, which provide another means of cooling the data center. Facebook also has a data center in the area, although it uses a separate water supply.

Source: Oregon Live