How can a new campus help California’s water shortage?

Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley campus is designed to achieve net-zero, non-pottable water certification in response to California’s water crisis. Its aim is to not waste any drinkable water resources in an area that suffers punishing droughts.

Extreme shortage

Summer temperatures in California often reach record-highs, parching landscapes and depleting reservoirs. Warmer winters mean less snow fall in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. This reduces snowmelt, a crucial source of water for California and its agricultural belt in the Central Valley. Diminishing supplies call for stewardship to reduce water consumption.

Recycling water

In response to this challenge, Microsoft’s new 643,000-square-foot campus in Mountain View will have a water management system which, where possible, will put water into service more than once. An on-site water plant harvests and treats rainwater, stormwater and wastewater, which can be reused for irrigation and plumbing. Its conservation measures reduce water demand, only using fresh water from the municipality for drinking fountains and sinks.

Sustainability

The campus buildings feature a host of other sustainable features including solar panels, a living roof and sustainably sourced timber. The new campus, which will be completed in 2019, will boast some of the greatest innovation and sustainability credentials in Silicon Valley.

This story shows how Microsoft supports Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, specifically Target 6.4: “By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.”

About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and services.

Commitments, Actions and Progress from Microsoft