Milwaukee is trying to reel in some data center projects, and is using cheap water as its hook. At a time when data centers are paying closer attention to the amount of water they use in their cooling systems, the large water requirements of these facilities is also being viewed as a site location differentiator.
Data centers are now on the radar screen of economic development officials in Milwaukee, which is using its water supply as a tool to try and attract large employers. The city recently launched a program known as WAVE (Water Attracting Valued Employers) that offers volume discounts on water for companies that locate operations in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee attorney Barry Grossman suggested “server farms” as a potential prospect for Milwaukee’s water-driven municipal marketing, noting the industry’s high water usage profile during a forum on water-related economic and legal issues sponsored by Marquette University’s law school. See the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for more on the story.