Will Data Centers Have Enough Water? Quantifying Water Security for Data Service Centers
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Data centers use considerable amounts of water in comparison to other industries because water is a key component in their cooling systems that are used to maintain optimal temperatures for their servers. Since these servers run 24/7 it is imperative for the data center to acquire a reliable water supply and receive water without interruptions. Most centers choose to acquire their water from the local water utility, which incentives data centers to be built in locations with minimum water stress. However, researching and finding such ideal locations takes an extensive amount of time because the type of data needed to understand water stress and utility function within an area are difficult to come by. To make this process similar, this study created an online tool that compiled water utility related data to assist in the decision-making process of choosing new locations for data centers. This online tool, or dashboard, aggregated state required reports on public water systems (or water utilities) with over 3,300 connections for California, North Carolina, and Texas. Information ranged from water availability to types of water customers to paint a picture of the demands and stress the community has on the water supply and utility. Since the compiled data was based on a larger spatial scale (state level), there is not enough details or information in the data to make a definite decision on location; but the dashboard is a useful first-step tool that can be used to filter down location preferences and to see what types of information need more research.
CitationScott, Lauren; Stine, Melissa; & Zhang, Yinuo (2019). Will Data Centers Have Enough Water? Quantifying Water Security for Data Service Centers. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18445.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment