Google’s $600 million South Carolina expansion can continue as planned as a new water pipe that could cool its servers will go ahead, reports The Post and Courier.

The company had been locked in a two-year battle with local conservation groups over plans to take 1.5 million gallons of water per day from the Charleston, South Carolina aquifer.

– Sebastian Moss

Google's lifeline

Without assurance that the necessary water for cooling would be in place, Google could not complete the expansion.

To remedy this, Berkeley County Water and Sanitation - who have a non-disclosure agreement with Google - entered into a contract with Charleston Water System to pump five million gallons of treated surface water per day from a water system near Google’s data center. The new water pipe will be directed to the Mount Holly Commerce Park, where Google has its facility.

Opposition to Google's 1.5 million gallons a day mounted after state monitors were able to show that groundwater in South Carolina is currently being drawn out of the earth faster than it can be naturally replenished.

US Geological Survey records show that industry, agriculture and other business in South Carolina draws out around 333 million gallons of groundwater per day, making up almost exactly a third of the one billion gallons of water used by the state every day.

If Google had been given permission to pump out the 1.5 million gallons a day it originally proposed, the company would be the third largest aquifer user in the three counties around Charleston. While Google has secured the new water supply, it is not known whether the company has stopped pursuing the 1.5 million gallon aquifer option.

The company first announced that it was investing $600m to build a South Carolina facility in 2007 and has since extended the facility several times. To date, the company has spent around $1.8 billion on the Goose Creek campus.