Economy & Politics

Google remains very mysterious about blue gold

The future data center of the American giant, which is due to be established in Bissen, promises to be energy intensive in natural resources. But at the moment no figures have filtered out on its water needs.

The future data center of the American giant, which is due to be established in Bissen, promises to be energy intensive in natural resources. But at the moment no figures have filtered out on its water needs.

(ER with E.D.) – The Google project continues on its way. If the municipality of Bissen will soon decide on the modification of its particular development plan (PAP) with a view to obtaining a building permit, other elements are not yet very clear. The site Luxemburger Times in particular looked at the water consumption that such an infrastructure could generate in a context where drinking water appears more precious than ever.

According to our colleagues, the new data center could consume 10 million liters of water every day. This represents nearly 8% of the country’s drinking water, i.e. the amount consumed by more than 75,000 Luxembourgers per day. To meet demand, the country can certainly count on its existing equipment and the improvement of certain tools such as the SEBES station near the Esch-sur-Sûre dam. Fully operational in 2022, the site will increase its capacity by a third and produce some 110,000 m3 daily.


Skepticism prevails among the citizens of Bissen, invited Thursday evening by the American internet giant to an information session on the project to set up a data center. Google did not have all the answers to their questions.


An asset certainly in the event that Google validates its arrival in the Grand Duchy. But at present, the exact consumption of the future Data Center remains unknown. Moreover, the company does everything to keep the water requirements of its data center secret.

Google spokesman Michiel Sallaets did not give further details. He just reminded the Luxemburger Times that “studies have been done” and that “the results will be shared with local and national authorities while ensuring that public concerns are taken into account”.

State secret

Yet in June, the environmental group Mouvement Écologique which turned to the courts in June to force the public disclosure of a document that could describe the planned use of water by the data center, nevertheless won its case. . But since then, no information has filtered as if Google took pleasure in wanting to hide the reality.

However, the water demands of the project must be mentioned in an environmental impact study, recalls the Ministry of the Environment. However, sooner or later, we will have to lift a corner of the veil on the amount of water that will be used by the Bissen site. But also its provenance.


Yesterday soll das künftige Google-Datenzentrum entstehen.

The Commission for Access to Documents has ruled. The government and the municipality of Bissen have one month to unveil the outlines of the agreement signed with the American giant, in particular with regard to the future of the land in the event of the abandonment of the data center project.


Two years ago, an environmental study emphasized that it was better to use the resources of the Alzette – about two kilometers from the site – to protect the ecosystem of the Attert river, about 200 meters away. of the future site. An approach shared in particular by the Administration of water management.

But other possibilities remain possible. Google was considering expanding a wastewater treatment center and thus diverting non-potable water to the data center before returning it to the Alzette. Another idea raised: wastewater from the Luxlait dairy plant could also be used as cooling water. Two options that Michiel Sallaets refused to discuss.


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