If I told you that through changes to your facility infrastructure and operational practices your facility water use could drop by 7.4 million gallons per year, what would you say? If your answer was hell yes (or whatever form of a yes you choose) then you would be correct on first reaction. The marketing potential on this drop alone could make the upgrades and improvements worthwhile.
Now let’s step back and ask the question in a different way
If I told you that through changes to your facility infrastructure and operational practices your facility could save $50,000.00, what would you say? If your answer was a litany of further questions to help quantify investment than you would be right.
Amazingly these questions are quite related even though they seem a world apart. Nestle has taken a lot of effort and resource investment in their USA Pizza Division facility in Wisconsin to be extremely efficient in water use. The efforts have proven to save reduce water usage by 7.4 million gallons per year. This effort and story is truly only offering a return of $50,000 per year which is a pittance to Nestle and if they were not branding themselves as so environmentally aware then I am certain the investment would not have been made.
This true case study which aims to highlight a great savings in fact represents the reason for enterprises to withhold major improvements or extend themselves to change design practices when it comes to water usage. The cost benefit is just not reality when it comes to water usage in the US.
This is certainly not to say that a focus on water usage is not a necessity in the data center, because there is clearly a need to research and evaluate your own water usage. Simple to make changes (i.e. temperature increase, control schemes, etc.) should be enacted as the ROI is justifiable. It would be an error to presume that a major investment on a mechanical infrastructure overhaul will equate to major savings.