Massive NSA data center will use 1.7 million gallons of water a day

utah data center nsa
CC BY-SA 3.0 Swilsonmc

Undeniably one of the biggest stories of the year has been the leak about the NSA PRISM program, which has been monitoring American citizens' communications. Many people have been appalled by this revelation, but it turns out there is an environmentally appalling part of this spying program too. More details have been released about NSA's new Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center, otherwise known as that massive data center being built by the agency in Bluffdale, Utah.

Turns out that collecting tons of information in the form of phone calls, emails and web searches is an energy and water-hungry business. According to reports, the one million square-foot facility will house 100,000 square feet of data-storing servers and will use 1.7 million gallons of water per day to keep those servers cool.

The data center will account for one percent of all water use in the area and the city of Bluffdale is looking for additional water sources for when the facility is finished in September.

It won't be an energy-sipper either, but that was obvious from the size of the place. The facility will require 65 megawatts of power, which is the equivalent of 65,000 homes. It will have its own power substation and back-up diesel power generators.

The crazy thing is that this gigantic data center isn't quite enough. The NSA is also building another data center in Fort Meade, Maryland that will be two-thirds the size of the mega center, but that's still pretty darn big.

Massive NSA data center will use 1.7 million gallons of water a day
It takes a lot of water to keep tabs on people.

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