The Climate Neutral Data Center Pact (CNDCP), which includes most data center operators in Europe, has submitted a voluntary proposal to the European Commission to reduce water consumption to 400 ml per kWh by 2040 and achieve carbon neutrality, according to Data Center Dynamics.
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Many data centers use water-cooling methods that reduce on-site power consumption but increase water consumption, which can be critical in dry regions, CNDCP points out.
To estimate water consumption, the association uses the WUE coefficient, which reflects the water consumption per kWh. CNDCP says all 74 data center operators that signed the agreement will reach the 400 ml per kWh limit by 2040. With WUE for data centers in the US averaging 1.8 liters per kWh in 2016, the target seems quite ambitious.
CNDCP explains that the year 2040 is chosen taking into account the life cycle of existing cooling systems, since their immediate mass replacement can do more harm than good due to environmental damage during the production of the systems themselves. New data centers in Europe will be built subject to the established limit.
In addition to the use of water, CNDCP is preparing to address the issues of resource recycling and the transition to a circular economy. The association has already formed the relevant working groups, which have begun work and will report on progress at the next meeting of the European Commission, scheduled for November 2022.