Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE)

Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) is a metric used to assess the water efficiency of data centers. It measures the amount of water consumed per unit of IT equipment output or computing work performed in a data center.

WUE is derived from the concept of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE), which focus on energy efficiency and carbon emissions, respectively. Just as PUE and CUE aim to minimize energy consumption and carbon footprint, WUE aims to minimize water consumption and promote sustainable water management in data centers.

To calculate WUE, the total water consumption of a data center is divided by the amount of computing work or IT equipment output. Water consumption includes both direct water usage, such as for cooling systems, and indirect water usage associated with electricity generation.

WUE = Data center water consumption (L) ÷ IT equipment energy usage (kWh)

Block-vs-File-Level-Tiering-ImageBy optimizing cooling systems, adopting water-efficient technologies, and implementing best practices, data centers can reduce their WUE and minimize their impact on water resources. Strategies for improving WUE may include using water-efficient cooling methods, recycling and reusing water, implementing advanced cooling technologies like evaporative cooling, and optimizing facility design for reduced water usage.

Efficient water management in data centers is becoming increasingly important as water scarcity and conservation efforts gain attention worldwide. By monitoring and improving WUE, data center operators can contribute to sustainable water use and reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

Komprise has written about the opportunity for sustainable data management as part of an overall sustainability and data center emission, data center optimization and data center consolidation strategy.

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