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11 Jul 2024

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Water Expert Michael Lesniak Joins IDCA's Technical Standards Committee

Washington, DC – July 11, 2024 – IDCA has announced that leading water resource expert and executive Michael Lesniak has joined the IDCA Technical Standards Committee. Michael was a former senior advisor to the United Nations Global Compact. He is the Executive Advisor at the Water Center at Penn, a Board Member at Angeles Equity Partners, and the Vice President of Net Positive Water Impact at Aquatech International, spearheading strategic alliances that foster water sustainability and resilience.

With expertise in water chemistry and a dedication to new business development. His work involves advancing technologies such as desalination and water reuse, efforts that are essential in protecting watersheds and mitigating the industry’s water footprint.

“Water is a critical issue on our planet and specifically within the data center and digital infrastructure realm today. Michael is a world-leading subject matter expert on the topic and having him join the IDCA’s effort to build sustainable digital economies, is a blessing to us and an achievement for the industry,” said IDCA Chairman and CEO Mehdi Paryavi.

“IDCA has been instrumental in setting modern-day standards and educating the digital infrastructure industry, helping cloud providers, hyper scalers, emerging markets and developed nations alike,” Michael said in joining
the IDCA Technical Standards Committee. “Water is a great enabling force and vital for the existence and sustainability of data centers and digital infrastructure. This is where my expertise and passion reside and I am honored to join the IDCA thought leaders and be an integral part of setting new standards of excellence for water across the sector.”

Michael received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his responsibilities at Aquatech, he conducts academic work through the Corporate Roundtable at the University of Pennsylvania, NGO work at the United Nations CEO Water Resilience Coalition, and recently collaborated on a new book, “Responsible Industrial Water Management In A Changing Climate – Breakthroughs and Innovations.”

His journey in the water sector spans nearly four decades, characterized by a relentless pursuit of innovation and environmental stewardship. His work at Nalco early in his career witnessed his ascent to executive roles and international work, especially after a merger with Ecolab, a deal which in he played a key role and was responsible for merging the global field teams across 170 countries and a $65B market cap today.

Rich Banta, IDCA CTO Technical Standards Committee Chairman added, "Massive AI-driven growth in data center facility size and scale has confirmed, and elevated, water consumption and sustainability to be critical factors in standards and operations. We are thus grateful and fortunate to have Michael's knowledge and expertise in water usage and management as part of our team."

The data center industry is projected to double in size by 2028, and continue very rapid growth thereafter, as an AI-driven wave and continued efforts to create Digital Economies in all nations of the world push new demand for high-performance computing services. A data center can use hundreds of thousands or millions of gallons of water per month, for cooling, maintenance, and overall operations.

“Having Michael Lesniak on the IDCA Technical Standards Committee re-affirms IDCA's commitment to sustainability overall and responsible water usage in particular, and we are looking forward to Michael's input and contributions,” concluded Mehdi Paryavi.

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