Google and Microsoft have both reported increased water consumption, but why would a tech company use more water?
Water is used for colling data centres and with the explosion of Generative AI, the amount of processing increased along with water consumption. A paper due later in the year predicts that for ever 5-50 requests to ChatGPT consumes 500ml of water. The larticle Artificial intelligence technology behind ChatGPT was built in Iowa — with a lot of water | AP News goes in to much more detail on how the consumption of water is calculated. The important part is that we need to monitor resource usage to be able to make informed decisions.
Microsoft, Google and OpenAI are all looking to mitigate the energy consumption and water usage with AI usage only going to increase. In the interim, next time you are using ChatGPT or Bard, consider your contribution to water usage and ithe impact on the environment.
“Most people are not aware of the resource usage underlying ChatGPT,” Ren said. “If you’re not aware of the resource usage, then there’s no way that we can help conserve the resources.”