back to article AWS joins the water positive gang, claims it will be there by 2030

AWS has joined the ranks of tech companies making commitments to become "water positive" – meaning they aim to return more precious H2O to communities than is consumed in business operations. Announced to coincide with the company's re:Invent conference in Las Vegas – oh the irony – AWS said it intends to become water positive …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge


    They will be combining hydrogen and oxygen to create both a big boom and rain. Then they can pride themselves with all kind of positivities from all kind of sources. It will be loud (boom-bang) and it will be hot (literally and figuratively).

    No definite word on how to get the hydrogen. However, speculations have been heard that a large hose will be put out into space to suck up spare hydrogen. Blue Origin is already working on a prototype. The required oxygen will be from recycled CO2 from the atmosphere, where plants already are being paid by amazon and told they have no choice or they will be cut down. The additional heat from the hydrogen-oxygen boom-process will de dissipated into the larger body of water already in place on this rock. It is suggested not to be any concern for oceanic life or any other oceanic cycle.

    icon: elemental, my dear Sherlock, elemental.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Elemental

      You, minion! The H2O output's a bit low this month! Breathe out more!

      1. b0llchit Silver badge

        Re: Elemental

        Yeah, it sucks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elemental

      I had more a picture of a couple of bean counters in front of the board:

      "So, if we count our employees pissing out what they drank at home, plus the sweat and by reclassifying CO2 as sub prime H2O we actually find we're an overall producer of water and not a consumer at all???? Perhaps we've done something wrong..."

      Then marketing comes along

      "No, no we can work with those figures....."

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge


    I wonder what proportion of that water is going to be used for green washing.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Purposes

      All of it.

    2. NeilPost

      Re: Purposes

      A quick Google indicates a 50m Olympic Sized swimming pool is 2.5m litres of water … so their initial sounding grandiosity - esp. about recharging groundwater - is actually pretty small - and it’s akin to pissing in the wind…. TM though Every Lithe Helps.

      Needs to be giga-litres of water.

      Still every Amazon employee gets a reusable water bottle… so that’s good.

  3. jake Silver badge


    587 million litres sounds like a lot. But is it?

    587 million litres is about about 475 acre feet. Here in California, that would translate to about 950 average households per anum. (I have no idea what the average UK usage per household per anum is, and can't be arsed to look it up. I'm sure it's in the same ballpark, though.)

    In other words, it SOUNDS like a lot ... but it's not even a dent in the total water used in modern society. Nice headline, and makes the company look very green. But in the lingo of today's yoof, it is complete greenwashing, and companies using it should be considered gross liars[0] ... as is nearly always the case when it comes to supposedly "environmentally aware" corporations.

    Shame on you, Amazon, you contemptible, lying bastards.

    [0] Lying by omission and using half-truths is still lying, no matter how you greenwash it.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Perspective.

      "587 million litres sounds like a lot. But is it?"

      Nope. From the article - "This is tiny compared with total water consumption (1.218 trillion liters per day)" . With "tiny" there being a reference to "datacenter water use" of 1.7 billion liters per day. So in an entire year they'll "recharge" about 8-hours worth of the water used ONLY by datacenters.

      This is worse that greenwashing by several orders of magnitude. It's more like impressionist can't really see what's there, so you have to imagine it, and then read the placard at the bottom of the frame to see if you were right or not.

      If they REALLY wanted to help, maybe they could use their billions of American pesos and build some de-sal plants or some such. I'm a dumb Southerner, so you'd know better than me what they could do to help out over there on the dry west coast. (Although Atlanta is getting thirsty, too - my Dad told me a couple of weeks ago that the state (or maybe TVA) is planning to build a new dam here in NW GA and flood a valley where I used to go swimming as a kid. The plan is to pipe that reservoir water 70 miles down to Metro Atlanta. God only knows how much that will wind up costing us taxpayers who DON'T live in that hive of people)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Perspective.

        In the 1960s I remember my dad saying that it was a good thing we were going to build all those nuclear plants, because we would need the electricity to power the desalination plants when the next major drought hit around the turn of the century. (Study the geological record, or get into dendroclimatology, or listen to the old stories of the Native Americans around here ... this is completely normal for California. We'll be wet again in a few decades. It's a cyclic thing.)

        Turns out he was right. Except the hippies put the kibosh on the nuke plants, the fucking uneducated stoned idiots.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    So my house is water positive

    Between the water I put in the sewer and the rainwater from the gutters I emit more water than I take in from the city supply.

    And yet they still want to charge me $750/year ?

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: So my house is water positive

      Prove to them that you always send the excess back in potable form and maybe they'll cut you a deal.

  5. DrXym

    I've heard of greenwashing

    But now it's bluewashing.

    I wonder how they're going to claim they are H2O positive - the cynic in me thinks by buying lakes and disused flooded quarries to count as an offset to what they use.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I've heard of greenwashing

      By adding in the rainwater run off from their parking lots into the polluted waste stream of the plant process.

      A little like how Chernobyl was net radio-isotope positive.

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Water positive is a relatively new term, but there is no formal definition for what this means.

    Unless is it about creating water, this means it's another marketing BS.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      My cars and my gas heating are all water positive (just ignore the CO2 for this excercize). Where do I go to apply for my "good boy" points?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You mean...

    They are now going to be giving the piss instead of taking it?

  8. Ball boy Silver badge

    This was foretold

    "For years, the fabulously beautiful planet of Bethselamin increased its booming tourist industry without any worries at all. Alas, as is often the case, this was an act of utter stupidity, as it led to a colossal cumulative erosion problem. Of course, what else could one expect with ten billion tourists per annum? Thus today the net balance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave; so every time you go to the lavatory there, it is vitally important to get a receipt."

    HHGTTG, Ch8.

    Substitute for 'water' and he got it about right.

    1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

      Re: This was foretold

      What version of the HHGTTG is that quote from? My latest copy has:

      "(After a while the style settles down a bit and it begins to tell you things you really need to know, like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by 10 billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your bodyweight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt)".

      Admittedly, my latest copy has a few spelling mistakes compared to the originals, which I put down to automated spell checkers and sloppy proof reading. Such as Max Quordlepleen hosting a show at the Big Bank Burger Bar, not big bang.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: This was foretold

        So Amazon's solution is for visitors to bring their own coffee and then visit the urinal? Literally taking the piss ?

  9. Evil Scot Bronze badge

    So what is the link...

    between Amazon and the image of settling pools in the article?

  10. Robert Grant

    > the ultimate test is more water returned to the environment than is supplied, making a particular site water positive.

    Does someone think companies should be making water? Or are they just capturing rainwater that would've fallen on to the ground anyway and fed natural processes?

  11. keith_w

    I am totally amazed that no one else pointed out the irony of "it is working to optimize water consumption by using the cloud to analyze water use in real time.". Of course water usage is cloud based.

  12. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I can see this ...

    ... ending badly. At least on my side of the pond (sorry). Our municipal water utilities have always taken a dim view of people bypassing the water meter (their revenue) by installing rainwater cisterns for irrigation and other gray water uses.

    They backed down on rain barrels. But anything of a significant size is a significant prermitting headache. Not that they are completely wrong in principal. Parking lot and rooftop precipitation diverted from the local groundwater inputs can affect stream and lake levels.

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: I can see this ...

      While I agree a bit, it would be nice to be able to collect rainwater and use it to flush toilets. Seems we'd have to worry a bit less about reservoirs being as full if one of the bigger water uses was fed from the sky.

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