The Water Scarcity Issue in Data Center Cooling


Hello, friends, Adil Attlassy, Chief Technology Officer with Compass Datacenters. Today, I want to take a moment to talk to you about a topic that’s very dear and close to my heart, and it is the use of water to cool data centers. To put things in perspective, the Department of Energy estimate that it takes a 1.8 liter of water to cool one kilo hour. For 30 megawatt data center building, it will take 1.3 million liter per day to cool that infrastructure. That translate to 343,000 gallon of water per day. One could agree that it’s a tremendous amount of water that’s probably better suited supporting our growth as humankind, agriculture, other technologies, and other needs.

I wrote an article about 10 years ago, talk about this scarcity of water. What could argue that water’s part of [inaudible 00:01:01] cycle, nothing get lost, nothing gets created, everything get transformed. However, with the ongoing drought challenges that we’ve been experiencing, we really are to rethink our approach and look at waterless cooling systems that still gives you the same level of performance to cool your data centers without being inherently affecting and competing for water resources in regions where they’re becoming increasingly scarce.

So this is a call to action to the industry. At Compass, we actually adopted waterless system back in 2011 and we continue to do so. I encourage everyone to consider waterless cooling methodologies for their data centers. And if you have any question, feel free to reach out, we’re pleased to share what we know. Thank you. Have a great day.