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Data Centers' Water Use Has Investors on High Alert

Can companies keep using hundreds of millions of gallons a year as California dries up?
Photographer: Ben Torres/Bloomberg

Data centers, used by governments and large corporations to house their computer systems, have one big environmental problem: They get hot.

To keep them from overheating, large data centers can pump hundreds of millions of gallons of water a year through the facilities, according to company reports. That high demand for water has some investors concerned, especially in places where natural water resources are becoming ever more precious, like tech-heavy California.