Articles

How Google drains America’s fresh water – the real price of Google’s targeted ads

August 13, 2019


On May 11 2017 regulators in South Carolina
unanimously approved Google’s request to triple
their daily groundwater withdrawal permit
from 500,000 gallons to 1.5 million.
This controversial permit comes at times when
the aquifer under counties surrounding Charleston
began to experience sever drops of water levels
and water pressure.
Google wants to use this precious source of
fresh water that’s used by locals for farming
and daily needs, to cool its large data center
in Goose Creek in Berkeley County.
Google ignored the concerns of residents and
local water utilities officials, that no further
permits should be considered until groundwater
pressure and water levels begin to recover.
The problem with this aquifer is that there
is not enough data to fully understand and
interpret recent downward trends.
What gives companies like Google a leverage
to ask for more permits, is the uncertainty
of attribution of these trends – whether
they are caused due to droughts, pumping,
or a combination of both.
Aquifers are natural underground resources
of fresh water, that act as sponge capturing
the raining water beneath the soil instead
of releasing it into the ocean or evaporation.
In order for an aquifer to sustain itself,
it has to at least reach the equilibrium between
the amounts of recharged and discharged water.
Aquifers are only renewable as long as rate
of recharge and discharge equalize over time.
However, several observations have been already
made that suggest the critical level of the
situation.
The groundwater levels in the Charleston aquifer
have declined from 126 feet above land surface
prior to pumpage, to 40 to 60 feet below land
surface in 2015.
Another proof of declining water levels is
that many well sites are losing pressure and
had to devote more resources to increase the
power of their pumps, or dig deeper to regain
the water pressure.
For example, 6 wells of Mount Pleasant Waterworks
are now pumping at 400 feet below land surface,
which significantly increases the costs for
electricity needed to lift water from these
depths.
To respond to the alarming state, South Carolina
Department of Health and Environmental Control
has designated Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester
Counties as Capacity Use Area.
In a Capacity Use Area, each groundwater withdrawal
exceeding 3 million gallons per month is requested
to be reported to and gain permission from
the South Carolina Department.
Permitting expansion of groundwater withdrawal
by Google poses a threat to many residents
fearing that they will be limited to increase
their pumpage to support their daily needs
in the future.
While trends show that Carolina aquifers clearly
responded accordingly to multi-year droughts
of 1998 – 2002 and 2007 – 2008, it has
been observed that where users transitioned
from ground water to surface water, water
levels in those aquifers began to see recovering
trends.
Wells that had experienced these droughts
but have not recovered are the ones where
pumping continued increasing.
The three-fold increase of groundwater withdrawal
by Google will inflict an exponential stress
on the aquifers in Coastal South Carolina.
Even if the groundwater in the aquifer prove
to be able to sustain excessive withdrawals,
ever declining water levels will put costly
barriers to entry for small and middle size
users.
This will essentially transfer ownership of
South Carolina water to the ever enclosing
circle of elites, because ordinary people
will not have enough financial means to tap
into the water resource that used to be publicly
available on free-to-all basis.
To estimate how much groundwater there is
in Carolina aquifers, a study by the US Geological
Survey and the South Carolina Department of
Natural Resources was set to be completed
by 2019.
A date for which Google refused to wait despite
calls by the local community around Charleston
to not allow further permits until ground
water levels begin to rise again or sufficient
studies are completed.
The talks for regulations were being delayed
for 15 years, and have been coincidently closed
within three months at nearly the same time
as Google permit came to be okayed in May.
And while Google’s public relations staff
vehemently claims they want to collaborate
with the community, they refuse to disclose
any details on how much fresh water they collect
in South Carolina, and how they treat it during
and after use under trade secrecy.
What Google did confirm however, is that they
are never going to return the water back to
the aquifer, but dump it into the sewers.
Google will reuse some groundwater, but it
will still inquire losses due to evaporation.
No used water will be processed to be returned
to recharge the aquifer.
Another issue with this controversial permit,
is that Google already uses 4 million gallons
of tap water a day to cool its Goose Creek
data center in Berkley County.
With increasing average temperature in the
region and potentially more frequent and sever
future droughts, diminishing surface water
resources might lead Google to expand its
permit to make up for the losses should the
supply of tap water drop.
This is a likely scenario if no regulations
are implemented in the mean time to protect
the groundwater so that it continues to serve
the needs of general users and farmers and
not just single conglomerates.
Google refuses to accept their withdrawals
have any substantial impact on the sustainability
of the aquifer.
The company also declared that the aquifer
is the most readily available source of cooling
and that no other alternatives are viable.
But the real reason Google went for South
Carolina in the first place is the low cost
of electricity in the region and virtually
no price tag and regulations for tapping into
groundwater sources.
You see data centers spend staggering amounts
of electricity.
Just in the US, data centers consume as much
electricity as produced by roughly 10 nuclear
power plants.
What’s most controversial about this is
that more than 90% of this energy is not used
to power computation.
On average only 6 to 12 percent of the electricity
coming to data centers is used.
The rest is being dumped as waste simple because
most of the processors are idle majority of
the time.
The wastefulness of the data center industry
is so severe that its 76 billion kilowatt-hours
energy input from the grid in 2010 outperformed
paper industry by nearly 10 billion kilowatt-hours.
It was the computer technology that was supposed
to be a “green” alternative to paper.
This is because data centers of these reckless
companies are not designed to conserve the
energy as long as they don’t have the incentives
to do so.
In addition to wasting vast majority of electricity
flow from the grid, data centers also use
banks of diesel generators and thousands of
lead-acid batteries to insure against grid
failure.
However, most of this energy is not needed
and is therefore wasted, because data centers
hold redundant data on their hard drives,
even if they are no longer in use by consumers.
More than 75% of trillions of gigabytes of
data are being created by ordinary consumers.
This number is estimated to be even much higher
for Google, because the company’s business
model relies on generating and collecting
users private information to be shared and
sold for marketing purposes.
You need to realize that Google is no longer
a technology start up and they are not making
revenue from selling products that have a
creative value.
Google has transformed itself into an advertising
platform that offers marketers and retailers
auctions to place their bids for people’s
private and personal information.
Similar to stock exchange and trading strategies
of the Wall Street banks, Google engages in
high-frequency-trading to always find the
highest bidder willing to pay the most for
invading your privacy.
And thus Google participates in depleting
fresh water resources that could have been
used by ordinary citizens for drinking, or
farmers to grow food, only to deliver targeted
advertisements and politically biased search
engine algorithms.
Google’s Goose Creek data center emits 1,350
tons per year of particulate matter, sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants.
There are however viable alternatives for
data centers.
For example, the National Security Agency
Fort Meade data center in Maryland uses wastewater
for cooling.
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing
Center at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
in California, runs at roughly 96% utilization
by queuing up large jobs and scheduling them
so that the machines are running nearly full-out,
24 hours a day.
There are also various methods to considerably
shrink data center foot print, and thus decrease
the amount of energy and water needed to maintain
the power.
Google doesn’t do this in Coastal South
Carolina, because it doesn’t have to think
about the consequences and outrage of the
local population.
No major nation wide media or news outlets
are covering these local controversies, so
Google is under no public pressure to alter
their practices.
Roughly 90% of Google’s revenue comes from
advertising programs.
Most of which is generated through their search
engine and Google Adwords and Adsense programs.
If you want Google to feel the pressure, and
stop them from making profit off of your private
life to fund their reckless business strategies,
you can start using search engine alternatives
like DuckDuckGo, Qwant, or Startpage, and
install uBlock Origin on your browser of choice
to block Google’s ads and trackers.
Great alternatives to Chrome browser that
will not share your data with Google are Firefox,
IceCat, and Brave Browser.
If you are using gmail, you can switch to
private encrypted email providers like Protonmail,
Tutanota, or Posteo, who will never share
your data with advertisers or government spies.
I talk about all these alternatives and other
essential methods how you can stop Google
along with other corporate monopolies like
Facebook or Amazon from making you part of
their unsustainable business model.
Google keeps stepping over the line with their
privacy violating algorithms, unconstitutional
collaboration with government spies around
the world to help them build mass surveillance,
constant tweaks to their search engine algorithms
to filter web content, and political censorship
of dissenting opinions.
Now they are going to drain precious sources
of fresh water in a century during which water
is bound to become the scarcest commodity
on Earth.
My only question is – is Google now too
big to fail?
Can they do whatever they want and they will
be given a pass?
If you feel like this message is important,
share this video with your friends and comment
below whether some kind of action needs to
be taken to put Google in check.
If you are from South Carolina, or other areas
where Google drains fresh water resources,
please do leave your thoughts in the comment
section.
I created this channel to use Google’s own
algorithms against them and expose their and
other big corporations’ dirty practices.
Subscribe before this channel gets shut down,
so that we can build a community that wants
to make everyone play fairly by the same rules.
Thanks for watching.

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31 Comments

  • Reply Sebastian Sandoval November 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    oh

  • Reply Perennial Plant YaMon November 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Well, at least Google virtue-signals about the ecology! Check out this Jan. 26 "pro-ecology" piece on Blog.Google (search google + ecology):

    Headline: "Ecology at Google brings holistic design to our outdoor environments"

    Here are several of the graphs: "We’ve long been an industry leader in the design of healthy and sustainable indoor environments, but only recently have we formalized a science-based strategy to create and maintain healthy and resilient outdoor environments. …

    "The program also seeks to engage and enhance the experience of individual Googlers and local residents with interactive learning sessions and home planting guidance. During each of the last two springs, we’ve partnered with the Santa Clara Audubon Society to sponsor informational 'Egret Office Hours' and birding tours for the public throughout our South Bay Campus. …

    "We see great potential to transform our local and regional landscapes through engagement and collaboration. While ecology and tech may not be obvious partners, science, data-driven analysis and transparency are the pillars that will guide meaningful and lasting change in the outdoor environments that we and so many others call home."

  • Reply AnarchoTak November 2, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    why cant google just use oceon water and clean it? its not like they are gonna drink it so wtf. oh maybe cuz it cost money to do that so stealing water from people is better and more evil lol

  • Reply Marsman November 3, 2017 at 1:31 am

    You did a great job on researching all of this and presenting it in a well thought out manner. What Google is doing is quite alarming.
    Also, you sound like you're about to cry. Are you ok?

  • Reply m j November 3, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Thank you for your ongoing efforts to raise awareness. Due to your videos I have now:
    -stopped using Chrome
    -disabled location tracking and web app activity through Google
    -disabled my Local Guide status
    – loaded Umatrix and privacy blocker on all devices

    I have Proton mail already due to my work but it needs a few usability functions like widget and push notifications to make it really good.

    It will probably take me some time to migrate off my Gmail.

    Any good map apps? GMaps is very very good and carrying another GPS device is not convenient

    I believe blockchain will eventually kill Google. Time to get off YouTube too 🙂

  • Reply Laughing Achilles November 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    This is a problem, so why not offer a solution?

    Could the water be pumped out to the farms for use on crops after it's cooled the data centers? What if the people petitioned Google to pump the water into several large reservoirs which the farmers and industry could then tap? I'm sure enough public outcry could get google to pay for the project. It's very easy criticizing this but the data centers are needed and with an increasing amount of data year on year, this problem is unavoidable.

  • Reply HighTekRedNeck November 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Russians are getting tricky now lol

  • Reply any name November 3, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    and yet this video is being made using google services.. while they complain abut google..

  • Reply Tevin Jeffrey November 3, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    This video is in all likelihood being stored in that data center.

  • Reply Leonidas McMillan November 3, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Does anyone in these comments want nice things? This is how nice things work, a few thousand residents or functionality for the entire world?

  • Reply RedshiftOTF November 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Maybe build data centers in Alaska?

  • Reply acerhen somerhen November 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    SO this video is misleading on many parts, but lets get the main one out of the way. "Google will be using the sewers to dispose of the water". Which IS putting back in ground. You think google can just dump ALL that water easy over the ground surface? It needs a controlled way to do it.

    A sewer IS putting water back in ground..as shown from the very chart you listed, water table is replenished by rain run off from streams, etc. A sewer system literally does that in a human way. It runs in closed system to a plant, plant processes it, and guess what happens to processed stuff? It goes into a stream after settle tanks. This is actually better system in how they are doing it.

  • Reply A P November 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I hate Google so much that I use a Google-owned website to post my videos!

  • Reply Slobodzyan Yaroslav November 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Plant trees while you search the web. Ecosia.org is the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue.

  • Reply Duy Vu November 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Lots of misinformation in this video. 1.5 million gallon water consumption annual rate is a lot of water use when associated with residential and commercial use but not uncommon in industrial use. This video is blaming one company's single facility for an entire region's water usage problem.

  • Reply 739RedRose November 4, 2017 at 12:39 am

    It's a sad thing that not many know about this (including me until just now). Not many pay attention to the real world impact of technology like this. As much as I would like to blacklist all websites from google ads, it is still an injustice for those that depend on the revenuer generated from it to keep their content uploaded, and I do not mean just YouTube. Still, I'll share this with as many people as I can in the hopes that at least some of them would limit or even stop using google services.

  • Reply Phil Abrahams November 4, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    If you need the water burn the data center down.

  • Reply Charles Hayslip November 16, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I've recently been thinking of alternatives to chat services such as Google Hangouts in comparison to things like Discord. Would you recommend any thing else, or a better way to have these types of communications securely?

  • Reply LeonLaGrey April 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I don't know why this video isn't spread, Everyone needs to know what's happening with this conglomerate.

  • Reply Levi Waldrip May 24, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    They have a monopoly there's nothing as good as YouTube.

  • Reply Levi Waldrip May 24, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Are government needs to be more like China

  • Reply Levi Waldrip May 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    I'd rather my government have power over us than are enemies.

  • Reply Cedric Sullivan November 12, 2018 at 1:25 am

    It's ironic that your making this video on Google's platform…

  • Reply Quoala T November 14, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    the same could be said about most 'data' centers.

  • Reply 30G November 29, 2018 at 5:08 am

    I hope someone is working on a YouTube alternative.

  • Reply fraggenaught November 30, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I'm only a recent subscriber (within the past couple of weeks.) Really enjoying the channel but something you said in this video gave me cause for concern. You said "before this channel is shut down." I know you've mentioned the problems you've had with demonetization, lack of promotion and YouTube just generally dicking with your channel. But, do you think it's a real possibility YouTube will close you down? If so where can I go to your videos (and other information?) I would HATE to lose your channel because I think it's an unbelievably valuable resource.

  • Reply Isaac Popell January 9, 2019 at 6:26 am

    The solution is to break apart google. America was founded on freedom, and antitrust laws were made to protect the freedom of citizens from artificial monopolies. Google is an artificial monopoly and it would be completely constitutional and just to break them apart. Youtube should be separate, gmail should be separate, docs sheets and presentation should be separate, chrome should be separate, and ad sense should be separate from the search engine its self. Additionally, the United States should enact new privacy laws that make it illegal for google and similar company's to sell and collect private user data and metadata. Having a free economy is important, however when company's are taking away citizen's freedom it is necessary to take freedom from said company's to free the people. It is un-American to have a person or company be free to take away citizens freedom. Breaking apart google and passing new privacy laws would hurt America's economy, however freedom has a high price. American revolutionary's knew that a war for independence would cost thousands of lives, but they understood there is no price to high for freedom.

  • Reply Tcll5850 March 28, 2019 at 2:50 am

    again with Brave, if you know anything about browsers, Brave is built on Electron, and data sharing with Google cannot be entirely trusted!
    the same goes for Comodo Dragon, Comodo is a security company who provide free professional level antivirus, as well as paid services for business solutions.
    I love Comodo, but honestly, their secure browser (built on chromium) sucks
    if you want a real browser that actually protects you from Google's data sharing, as well as other malicious content almost out of the box,
    go with Opera (built on chromium), which unlike Brave (and most chromium-based browsers), has an included ad, tracker, and malicious content blocker built into it's engine.
    Opera uses less RAM than Firefox and similar browsers, which is important if you only have 4GB or so as you can open more tabs without the browser guzzling your memory.
    not only that, but you can secure your stored passwords (yes they're actually encrypted on your HDD if you use a master password)

    I have yet to find a more secure browser than Opera, and yes, I know what I'm talking about
    if you really wanna challenge me, Opera is more secure than Comodo IceDragon (built on Firefox)
    @​The Hated One

  • Reply One Sun May 1, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    I lived in Charleston. Super expensive water bill.

  • Reply Salmon, The June 26, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Hopefully their servers get wet.

  • Reply Gradi K June 27, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    lol, let start with you, close your Chanel as sign of protest. Why are you asking people to subscribe!? Lmao

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