Thames Water has started to study the amount of water being used by data centers in the area around London it serves as drought hits parts of the UK.

The water company, which supplies parts of London and the Thames Valley, said it had started a “focused exercise” to understand how much water is being used by data centres, of which there is a growing number in London and along the M4 motorway corridor are. where many technology companies are based.

Thames Water Strategic Development Manager John Hernon said his company wants to work with new data center operators to reduce their overall water use and ensure there is enough water for everyone.

“We are already working closely with the consultants planning new data centers in the Slough area. Our guidance has already resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of water required by these new centers due to guidance on additional storage and cooling methods,” he said in a statement.

Not all data center cooling systems rely on water and Thames Water says that even where that might be the case, there is no need for data centers to use the potable water from the utility lines.

“We want to explore how raw water (not potable) can be used and reused,” Hernon said. “That’s why we want to approach these companies as early as possible in order to influence important processes that use water right from the start. Here, too, we will work together with dealers and developers.”

Thames Water itself has been criticized for wasting water due to leaks in aging pipes, with its network losing nearly a quarter of the water supplied, an estimated more than 600 million liters a day.

Data center operators are already increasingly aware of the potential environmental impacts of their facilities, and steps have been taken to address some of these issues.

Last month, a group of data center companies and industry associations presented their proposals for minimizing water consumption to the European Commission. That Pact for climate-neutral data centers proposes a limit of 0.4 liters of water per kilowatt-hour of computing power (0.4 l/kWh) and claims that plants that comply would be among the most efficient in the world for their water use.

However, operators joining the pact have until 2040 to achieve compliance, but may be forced to become more water efficient well before that.

Data center operators have also come under fire recently for the high power consumption of the growing number of facilities in and around London, according to a report in the financial times claims that there was not enough electricity available for new housing projects in West London for this reason. However, the data center industry disproved this. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/08/24/thames_water_datacenter_water/ Thames Water surveys data center water use in London • The Register

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