Artificial Intelligence infrastructure is exacerbating climate-fueled water shortages across Latin America as the water- and energy-hungry technology proliferates there, Mongabay reports. Not only do the computer chips needed for AI operations require 10- to 15-times more energy to manufacture than standard computer chips, but AI requires increasingly enormous amounts of electricity to power its computing demands with commensurate water demands for cooling.

Approximately 100 miles north-northwest of Mexico City, Querétaro is the only Mexican state completely at risk of drought, and already hosts 10 operating data centers with another 18 on the way. The combination of drought and data centers’ water consumption leaves the people who live there with no choice but to walk for water.

“We walk for the water we need. If we don’t walk, who will give it to us?” a man identified only as Juan from the rural Indigenous community of Maconí said, adding bean and corn crops have failed. “It’s a four-hour journey each day to fetch water … Since last year, there hasn’t been rain, and this year it’s the same.” (Mongabay)