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data center

Is the Cloud Drinking California Dry?

data centerSilicon Valley data centers are working to reduce their water needs for cooling, following California’s mandated water restrictions — and a NASA prediction that the state has only one year of water left — according to a news story in the Guardian.

The Green Grid, a nonprofit that promotes IT resource efficiency, says water-cooled data centers use about 3.5 million gallons per MW each year. California’s some 800 data centers range in scale from 5MW to 30MW.

Vantage Data centers has minimized the amount of water-cooling needed at its three facilities in Santa Clara by installing air handling units that can pull outside air to cool the room.

Meanwhile Digital Realty has launched an internal water conservation challenge and is working with local water utilities to look into using recycled water at its facilities — similar to a system already in place in DuPont Fabros Technology’s Ashburn Corporate Campus in Virginia and one in the works for the National Security Agency’s data center being built at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Additionally Equinix, one of the largest data center companies in the US, has plans to install a 1MW biogas-powered fuel cell at one of its Silicon Valley facilities.

Photo Credit: data center via Shutterstock

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One thought on “Is the Cloud Drinking California Dry?

  1. It would be helpful in an article like this to compare this water usage to the total 42M acre feet used by the state as a whole annually. It puts it in context. Roughly 1% to 6% of the total used in the state is still significant and merits serious water saving measures.

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