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Bluefield Research

Data Centers: Water Management Trends and Corporate Sustainability Strategies

Data Centers: Water Management Trends and Corporate Sustainability Strategies

Rapid growth in cloud-based data and digital services is coupled with data center expansions and new constructions to increase storage capacity. Hyperscale data centers, defined as million-square-foot facilities, are on the rise to keep pace with heightened demand. Larger facilities present widespread implications for water supplies, water management solutions, and local authorities. Recent reports predict hyperscale data centersto total 1,200 facilities by 2026, globally—approximately a 65% increase from current counts.

Data centers can require as much as five million gallons of water per day to cool servers and keep facilities at optimal temperatures. However, big tech sector’s primary focus is on reducing energy usage, as electricity for cooling servers at facilities can comprise up to 50% of operating costs, in addition to the current emphasis on mitigating carbon emissions. As a seeming second thought, water management proves to be of increasing importance. For every kilowatt hour needed, water requirements increase. This has placed a greater focus on improving the efficiencies of water used for cooling. 

Approximately 25 companies make up majority ownership of the 728 hyperscale data centers, globally. These companies represent the target audience for water solutions providers and firms seeking to capitalize on this robust and growing sector. Bluefield Research has identified seven of the largest hyperscale data center companies, globally, and has identified their water management positions and strategies. These companies’ strategies highlight new operating technologies, key partnerships, and future water goals. 

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