California data centers try to reduce their need for cooling
Amid record drought in California and other parts of the American West, the machines that support everything from Instagram photos to Netflix movie marathons require substantial quantities of water for the air-conditioning systems needed to keep the servers cool.
Industry efforts at greater efficiency so far have mainly focused on power. Some data center operators are looking for ways to reduce their demands on municipal water systems, by reusing dirty water or harvesting rainwater. Others are setting up giant storage tanks or digging their own wells.