Microsoft is at the beginning of a journey towards better water management, responding to increasing global water stress due to climate change, population increases and economic development.
"How do we bring better orchestration and a more formalized approach to water stewardship for Microsoft data centers, manufacturing sites and real estate offices around the world?" said Josh Henretig, senior director of sustainability at Microsoft.
"We want to understand the risks we face in the places we operate and leverage data, information technology to harness that information and make decisions around water use."
Ultimately, he said, it comes down to the communities in which Microsoft operates: "Water as a shared resource means the water we depend on to cool our data centers is the same that communities depend on for drinking, sanitation and other water services."
That's why Microsoft takes a "deliberate approach" to curtain water use and invest in watersheds.