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NSA dat center uses less water than expected

Published on April 30, 2014 at 12:55PM

Utility records show the National Security Agency data center south of Salt Lake City is using far less water than expected. Records from the city of Bluffdale, which sells water to the facility, show monthly water use at the $1.7 billion data center peaked last July at 6.2 million gallons. That’s well below the 1 million gallons a day that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted the center would need to cool its computer processors. Water records from January 2012 through February 2012 show the center’s use has fluctuated, consuming more water in summer months as temperatures rise. The center’s December bill showed 3.8 million gallons were consumed. In January, water consumption rose to nearly 4.9 million gallons before falling in February to about 2.8 million gallons.

Officials haven’t offered any details about what exactly goes on in the center. Suspicion surrounding the center grew last year after revelations that the NSA is collecting millions of U.S. phone records along with digital communications stored by nine major Internet providers.