Did you know that fresh water accounts for only 3% of the total water in the world? The data center industry utilizes great amounts of water for cooling, and using recycled wastewater for cooling in data centers instead of fresh water can do the world a favor. But, how effective is this cause and is it worth pursuing it practically?
Here are a few insights on the use of wastewater for data center cooling:
- Cost of using recycled water is 30-35% cheaper than using fresh water. If your data center is fortunate to be getting its water from a natural source such as a lake, stream or well, then you end up paying only for the pumping cost and using recycled water can prove to be more expensive. However, if there is scope for utilizing the fresh water in more fruitful ventures nearby such as irrigation, then the use of recycled water or a mixture of fresh and recycled water can be justified.
- Recycled water often comes with contaminants and cannot be used directly for cooling. It needs to be treated first, which adds to the overall costs. Other costs to consider are the cost of piping for bringing the recycled water from its source to the cooling towers.
- Using recycled or gray water leads to creating a sustainable data center in the future, which is on the top of the priority list of many data center facility owners. The environmental benefit is surely an opportunity that needs to be given its due diligence.
There are global organizations like Greenpeace that certify companies based on their green direction. For many data centers, the value, good will and market credibility that this kind of certification gives is worth the investment in the long-run. Being known as a humanitarian and environmentally conscious organization brings in like-minded customers that want to do their part, directly or indirectly, in contributing towards the overall welfare of the society.