Google’s Mesa data centre ditches water for advanced air cooling

Google’s forthcoming $600 million data centre in Mesa is set to revolutionise the industry by incorporating a sustainable approach to its operations. Unlike traditional data centres, this facility will employ an innovative air-cooling system that eliminates the need for water in cooling storage units. Joe Kava, the executive overseeing Google’s global data centres, emphasised that the only water consumption on the entire campus would be limited to the office areas for basic amenities like restrooms and handwashing.

Kava stated that their philosophy revolves around causing no harm to the watershed, exemplifying the corporation’s dedication to conscientious development practises.

Data centres play a pivotal role in our digital landscape, storing vast amounts of data that necessitate considerable energy and water resources for operation and cooling. In Arizona, where water resources are increasingly scarce, this presents a unique challenge. While Kava remained discreet about the technical specifics of Google’s air-cooling solution, he did express a focus on making it cost-effective, hinting at the company’s commitment to sustainability.

The choice of Arizona for data centre construction is due to its stable climate, devoid of natural disasters, making it ideal for ensuring data availability. However, the growing concerns regarding water consumption have prompted data centre builders to explore low-water or water-free cooling alternatives.

Sarah Porter, the director of Arizona State University’s Kyl Centre for Water Policy, emphasised that despite the climate challenges, Arizona’s stable environment is a strong incentive for data centre construction. However, she also pointed out that cities are increasingly scrutinising the water demands of such projects, leading to the adoption of more sustainable cooling methods.

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