Water Scarcity: A Major threat to Data Centre reliability and growth

October 17, 2018

At this year’s Data Centre World conference, Ecolab expert Kah Min Chen shared how limited water supplies are jeopardizing the industry and what can be done to address this issue 

Singapore October 15, 2018 By 2030, global demand for fresh water is expected to exceed available supplies by 40 percent. With the Asia Pacific data centre market expected to grow by 27 percent annually, one of the greatest threats to the industry’s reliability and growth is water scarcity. During Data Centre World, the largest industry event in Asia, Ecolab discussed sustainable solutions to address the fresh water crisis and examples of how data centres have successfully reduced fresh water consumption.

 “Ecolab touches 1.5 billion digital users daily through our water treatment programmes,” said Kah Min Chen, vice president and managing director, Ecolab Thailand, Indochina and Philippines. “Globally, Ecolab’s cooling water technologies helped save 582 billion liters of water in 2017 — equivalent to the yearly drinking water needs of more than 530 million people.”

 As demand for data centres surges in Asia, Chen says automated water performance systems such as 3D TRASARTM Cooling Water Technology, which continuously monitors the cooling system, resolves problems and delivers excellent results, will support Asia’s data centre growth through sustainable water use.

“Water scarcity is a significant risk to business growth, but sustainable water management is within reach through innovative solutions like 3D TRASAR Cooling Water Technology,” Chen said.

3D TRASAR Cooling Water Technology uses smart digital technology and connected chemistry to deliver actionable insights and exceptional results. Also, Ecolab’s connected engineers provide 24/7 monitoring to proactively address issues that require human intervention, to ensure smooth and optimal cooling system performance. Across the globe, 40,000 3D TRASAR units have been deployed to over 16,000 customer sites, generating 48 billion data points per year.

During Data Centre World, Chen discussed how Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, helped Microsoft’s data centre in San Antonio, U.S., which faced constraints in water quantity and quality, reduce water use and costs.

“We used 3D TRASAR Technology to provide real-time water management to optimise performance and deliver water savings,” Chen said. 

Additionally, Chen presented details on the Water Risk Monetizer, a publicly available tool developed by Ecolab, Trucost and Microsoft, that helps users better understand and quantify water-related business risks. Using both the Water Risk Monetizer and 3D TRASAR technology, Nalco Water helped Microsoft’s San Antonio data centre reduce potable water use by 227 million liters and save $140,000 in water costs annually.

“Properly treating water is vital to protecting our precious fresh water resources while ensuring efficient and reliable operations,” Chen said. “At Ecolab, we offer the tools, technology and expertise to help customers adopt smart water management, so they are ready for an increasingly water-scarce world.”


About Ecolab
A trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With annual sales of $14 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions, data-driven insights and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimise water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. For more Ecolab news and information, visit


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