Please indicate, in cubic meters, the total water consumption over the year of your data center.

  • Radia Guira

Defintion: water consumed is the amount of water removed for use and not returned to its source. The total water consumption corresponds to the sum of all waters entered in the sites from sources described below over the reporting year.
Inclusion: tap water, ground water, fresh surface water, sea water
Exclusion: Volume of water recycled or reused on site (to avoid double counting)

This question seeks to ascertain, in cubic meters, the total quantity of water consumed throughout the year at your data center. More specifically, this asks for the yearly sum of all water that is used within your data center, encompassing all water-related operations.

Breaking it down further, a data center requires water for cooling systems, in maintenance activities, perhaps even in restrooms, and this question is asking for an aggregation of all this consumption. It is significant in assessing the data center’s environmental impact – specifically, its water footprint.

For example, a potential answer could be: « (Example: Our data center consumed a total of 2,000 cubic meters of water over the course of this year) ». This will help Matteriality to determine your company’s ESG score, which measures your enterprise’s environmental, social, and governance performance.

Understanding Water Consumption in Data Centers

Water usage has become an increasingly significant factor in the operation and sustainability of data centers worldwide. As organizations strive for better Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores, understanding and accurately reporting the total water consumption of data centers is crucial. Water is predominantly used in cooling systems to manage the heat generated by servers, and the efficiency of this usage is a key indicator of a data center’s environmental impact.

Calculating the total water consumption in cubic meters over an entire year involves collecting data from various sources, including cooling system specifications, water bills, and usage monitoring systems. It is important to quantify not only the volume but also the sources of water used, whether it’s potable, non-potable, or recycled water. Strategies for reducing water usage include employing air-cooled systems, using outside air for cooling during cooler months, and incorporating advanced cooling technologies like liquid cooling.

To start calculating your data center’s water consumption, begin by compiling all water usage records from the past year. This includes water used for cooling, humidification, and any other data center operations. If your data center uses water economizers or cooling towers, you may need to consult with facility managers or use submetering to get accurate figures. It is also wise to review your data center’s design and operational practices for water efficiency measures that may already be in place.

Case Studies and Industry Benchmarks

Looking at industry case studies can provide valuable insights into water usage trends and help benchmark your data center’s performance. A recent study highlighted in ScienceDirect examined the various cooling technologies and their water usage, offering a comparison of different systems and their impact on water consumption.

In addition to academic research, real-life examples from industry news can shed light on the water usage of large data centers. For instance, a report by Data Center Dynamics disclosed that a major data center in drought-stricken Holland consumed approximately 84 million liters of drinking water in one year. Such figures underscore the importance of transparency and the potential impact of data centers on local water resources.

Furthermore, the increasing usage of artificial intelligence (AI) in managing big data has led to a surge in water consumption. As detailed by Liquidity Provider, the AI trend is draining billions of cubic meters of water, making it imperative for data centers to adopt more water-efficient technologies and processes to mitigate this demand.

By evaluating case studies and industry reports, you can understand how your data center measures up against peers and what steps can be taken to improve water efficiency. This could involve investing in more water-efficient cooling systems or adopting operational practices that minimize water use.

Best Practices for Reducing Water Consumption

Reducing water consumption in data centers not only improves your ESG scores but also contributes to the overall reduction of your environmental footprint. Implementing best practices for water conservation is essential. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Water-Saving Cooling Technologies: Consider investing in cooling technologies that use less water, such as dry cooling systems, and exploring the use of innovative technologies like liquid immersion cooling.
  • Water Recycling: Utilize systems that can treat and recycle water within the facility, reducing the demand for external water sources and minimizing waste.
  • Regular Maintenance: Ensure that all cooling systems are regularly maintained to prevent leaks and inefficiencies that can lead to excess water usage.
  • Operational Adjustments: Adjust operational parameters such as temperature and humidity set points to optimize performance without unnecessary water consumption.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Implement comprehensive monitoring systems to track water usage in real-time and establish regular reporting mechanisms to maintain awareness and accountability.

In conclusion, accurately reporting the total water consumption of your data center in cubic meters over a year involves diligent data collection, analysis of cooling systems, and benchmarking against industry standards. It is imperative for businesses to consider the environmental impact of their operations and take actionable steps towards reducing water usage. This transparency not only supports your organization’s ESG goals but also demonstrates a commitment to sustainable business practices, which is increasingly valued by consumers, investors, and regulators alike.

Remember, every step towards optimizing water usage not only enhances your data center’s ESG score but also contributes to a more sustainable future for all. By embracing these changes and reporting your water consumption accurately, you play a vital role in the global effort to conserve our precious water resources.