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Add water usage disclosure to list of datacenter management concerns

You’ve finally come to grips with the idea that you are going to have to start reporting your power usage in the datacenter, whether to the government or to anyone with a browser and a few spare minutes. DataCenterKnowledge.com points out that as long as you’re instrumenting, you’d better be tracking water usage too

Awareness of data center water usage is likely to gain a higher profile as environmental groups and investor advocates push for increased disclosure of corporate water usage. An example: The Carbon Disclosure Project, which has persuaded some of the world’s largest corporations to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, is announcing a program to press public companies to also issue detailed reports on their water use, according to The New York Times. The move “begins a campaign to put water consumption on par with carbon emissions as a concern of company shareholders.”

The enormous volume of water required to cool high-density server farms is making water management a growing priority for data center operators. A 15-megawatt data center can use up to 360,000 gallons of water a day, according to one estimate.

The degree to which we rely on water in our own HPC center became painfully obvious a few years ago when we lost utility water and had to truck water over from nearby holding ponds in trucks to keep the supers going.

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