The Cloud Is Very Thirsty

By: David Kohnstamm - June 10, 2020 ~ 1 min read

Data centers have been sprouting up like mushrooms over the last few years and the environmental impact is becoming apparent, yet the staggering amount of water used to cool them is often overlooked.

Using water as part of the cooling process makes cooling towers more energy efficient, which data centers in turn use to lower both costs and their PUE figures. While publicly available data on the overall water usage is scarce, the reported estimates suggest a range of 0.5 to 1.8 liters per KWh.* This translates to between 1.6 and 6 billion liters**, or roughly 640 to 2400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, of water used annually to cool Dutch data centers.

By contrast, cooling a Leafcloud server conserves water. By keeping our water temperature high and directly recycling most of the excess heat our servers generate, we avoid waste and allow them to run more efficiently than traditional data centers.

*: TheGreenGrid 2015.

**: Assuming a data center capacity of 1503MW, of which 25% is used. DDA 2019