||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.