Meta’s new data centre in Spain requires 600 million litres of water per year

by admin
datacenter Meta

Sustainability and energy efficiency are key concerns in the design and operation of the more than 120 data centres in Spain. Meta’s mega project to build Spain’s new super data factory in Talavera de la Reina (Castilla-La Mancha) is getting closer.

Although the government announced that construction would begin in late 2023, the future Data Centre of Mark Zuckerberg’s company, which includes Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, has yet to be brought from the drawing board to reality.

The 191 hectare area where the gigantic data centre will be built is still awaiting the arrival of the excavators. In the meantime, the government of Castilla-La Mancha continues to take steps to realise Meta’s project. With the declaration as a Project of Special Interest (PSI), the region secures an investment of more than €1 billion. Once completed, the project will result in the creation of 750 direct and indirect jobs.


However, Meta’s arrival in Talavera was not without controversy. In May 2023, after the announcement of the project, the regional water management organisation published a report. Project managers were warned that the data centre’s water consumption was excessive. A striking warning in a country that is affected by increasing drought. Other objections, such as those from SEO/Birdlife, demanded an adjustment of this consumption, as well as compensatory measures for the catchment area.

How much water does the Meta Data Centre need?

From the nearly 3 million cubic metres of water per year originally planned, this has been reduced to approximately 665,409 cubic metres per year. A figure that, according to, would represent 8% of the water that Talavera has available for an entire year. This reduction has increased to almost 600 million litres of water that the data centre environmental report provides. That amount of water is approximately equal to the water consumption of 5 million people in one day.

Cogesa Expats

Although the water consumption of the future installation has been significantly reduced, almost all the water consumed will be drinking water, according to the project’s environmental report. The document also discusses improvements in sanitation and discharges, climate change and health impacts, protected areas and resources, cultural heritage, among other issues.

Increasing demand for data centres

The demand for data centres, such as the one that Meta will build in Spain, has increased significantly in recent years. The cause can be found in the exponential growth of data generated by different sources. Think of mobile devices, social networks or the expansion of cloud services. Moreover, they play a fundamental role in both the training of artificial intelligence (AI) models and in large-scale data processing.

Given their high energy consumption, sustainability and energy efficiency are key concerns in the design and operation of data centres. Possible innovative solutions to reduce their environmental impact include efficient cooling systems or the use of renewable energy. Major technology companies already have more than 120 such centres in Spain.

Also read: Microsoft quadruples investments in Spain

You may also like