Google’s Water Use?

I have read that Google announced on Friday that it will build a $600 million “server farm” in Lenoir, NC. Even as it prepares to build in Lenoir, Google is continuing to evaluate a site near near Charleston for another location {Goose Creek area in Berkley County, which is around 20 miles from Charleston}. Google now has more than 450,000 servers spread in at least 25 locations around the world.

Several articles have stressed the need electrical and water needs for these large data centers. Although, I could not find any references on the exact water use of these data centers, the U.S. Department of Energy states that data center energy use can be a hundred times higher than a typical commercial building’s energy use.

According to a June 2006 article in The Wall Street Journal, “One large data center can consume enough juice to power a small city of 30,000 to 40,000 people.

It makes sense that Google is very selective on their sites since shaving as little as a penny per kilowatt-hour from electricity rates could reduce millions of dollars in annual expenses. The graph shows typical breakdown of electrical costs for a data center