Add water usage disclosure to list of datacenter management concerns

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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. 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.