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Microsoft to become water positive within the next decade

By 2030, Microsoft has committed to becoming water positive – meaning that they will replenish more water than they use.

Microsoft intends to reduce its water use intensity as an organization but also replenish water in the regions it operates within.

“Our replenishment strategy will include investments in projects such as wetland restoration and the removal of impervious surfaces like asphalt, which will help replenish water back into the basins that need it most,” said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.

“We will focus our replenishment efforts on roughly 40 highly stressed basins where we have operations. This reflects a science-based assessment of the world’s water basins. The majority of the world’s freshwater is divided into 16,396 basins, each of which has been assigned a “baseline water stress” score by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading nonprofit global research organization that focuses on natural resources. A basin is considered “highly stressed” if the amount of water withdrawn exceeds 40% of the renewable supply. Globally there are 4,717 basins that fall into this category.”

Internally, Microsoft is also enlisting employees to participate in volunteer organizations like the restoration of Lake Sembakkam in Chennai, India and the habitat restoration along the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota.

They are also planning to invest $10 million in the Emerald Technology Ventures’ $100 million Global Impact Fund to help companies globally drive innovation in water technologies. For more information about Microsoft’s plans for becoming water positive, check out the full press release.

Microsoft has already gone on the record to being carbon negative within the year and it aims to remove all historical carbon emissions by 2050.

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