The Chelan Douglas Port Authority is working on a project to provide water service to the large data center Microsoft is building in Malaga. 

The Malaga Waterline Extension Project includes almost $5.3 million for Phase 1 of its development. 

Port CEO Jim Kuntz says the process is moving along smoothly so far. 

"We'll be negotiating with Microsoft in Phase 2, which will be a lot more money, to basically, start the water reservoir pumping systems," said Kuntz. "And so, we're in a good glide path here." 

The Port approved more than $3.4 million for construction of a water main that'll run for 5,000 feet within Malaga to connect with the Microsoft plant, which could house up to six cloud data storage buildings. 

The new 18” watermain will run from Saturday Ave. to the former Lojo Orchard. 

It'll include a recirculation system to prevent issues with stagnant water, as water demand at the data center will vary over time. 

The Port on Thursday approved the following breakdown of expenses for the water main construction: 

  • RH2 Engineering – Design/CA: $ 619,582.00 
  • Consolidated Supply - Materials: $ 722,462.53 
  • Selland Construction - Installation: $1,754,795.75 
  • Subtotal: $3,096,840.28 
  • 10% Contingency: $ 309,684.00 
  • Total (rounded): $3,406,525.00 

The total of $3,406,525.00 will be folded into the $5,269,471 allocated for the Phase 1 project, which will also cover $1.1 million set aside to cover the cost of two test wells. 

Once completed, the Microsoft cloud data center will support a range of services, such as the Teams videoconferencing program.  

Kuntz says the money spent to supply water to the data center will increase rapidly after the current Phase 1 is complete. 

“We’re $40 million, $50 million into this project, eventually, to get water to the Microsoft facility,” Kuntz said. “But this Phase 1 has gone without a hitch, which is really good.” 

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