A city in the US sued the press to court just to keep Google’s water usage secret

Tram Ho

In The Dalles, a city in Wasco County, Oregon, USA, city officials sued a local newspaper. It all started when Google and this city had a contract to pay for the cost of expanding the water source, in exchange for allocating priority water capacity to the tech giant’s data center.

Google opened a data center in The Dalles in 2006. This is Oregon’s first Google data center. And since 2006, Google has invested a total of $1.8 billion in The Dalles to hire more than 200 people, create jobs, and improve tax revenue in the city.

Recently, Google announced plans to build two new data centers in The Dalles, after reaching a financial agreement related to property taxes that could save hundreds of millions of dollars.

The plan with Google presented by the city government is as follows: “Property tax on the first data center will be reduced by 50% and property tax on the second data center will be reduced by 40%. For that, Google will pay $3 million before starting to build each data center.”

The Dalles City Council unanimously approved the offer.

Một thành phố ở Mỹ kiện báo chí ra tòa chỉ để giữ bí mật việc sử dụng nước của Google - Ảnh 1.

Google data center in Dallas.

However, the “conditions related to the use of water” signed as part of the aforementioned tax relief measure have attracted a lot of attention. Since the data center uses a large amount of water to cool the system, the contract reads: “We will prioritize allocating a certain amount of water to Google. Google will give 28.5 instead. million USD for the work of expanding water sources”.

However, while it is known that Google will use a large amount of the city’s water, the exact amount used is unclear.

The Dalles city government says Google will only use part of the added water storage capacity, meaning more water will be available to the city’s people and industry. However, in the context of a drought in the region that has shown signs of persisting for the past few years, residents and especially farmers have expressed concern that this agreement could increase the strain on the city’s water supply. city, rather than promoting it.

Concerns about long-term water supplies have led to a growing movement to clarify the conditions of water use. And many people began to search for secrets about Google’s water use.

Một thành phố ở Mỹ kiện báo chí ra tòa chỉ để giữ bí mật việc sử dụng nước của Google - Ảnh 2.

These colorful pipes carry water in and out of Google’s data center in The Dalles. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes supply warm water back to be cooled.

The Oregonian, a local newspaper with the highest subscription rates in the region, spoke out. The Oregonian was unhappy with the city’s decision to refuse to release Google’s water usage records, and the agency sent a letter to the Wasco County Attorney General, requesting: “Please disclose the using Google’s water for the public good”.

In response to the letter, Wasco County Prosecutor Matthew Ellis found that Google’s water use was not covered by the city’s non-disclosure agreement. Therefore has asked the Dalles city government to release the records.

However, the law in this state allows the city of The Dalles to block that Wasco County ruling by… suing the news organization. Thus in response to this order, The Dalles city officials filed a lawsuit against the Oregonian newspaper, claiming that “under Oregon law, information regarding the use of this water is confidential and does not fall under a public obligation.” information disclosure.”

“Whether water is abundant or diminished in the future, the amount of water available to residents will be more if the water source is expanded at Google’s expense,” said Dave Anderson, the city’s director of public works. The Dalles Street, said. “I think this deal is beneficial for both sides.”

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Source : Genk