A device which cools water via the direct evaporation of some of the water. Water is pumped into the top of the cooling tower and allowed to run down over the fill, typically pads or strips into a sump at the bottom of the cooling tower. Air is drawn in from the sides over the fill by fans in the top of the tower, evaporating some of the water which cools the remaining water. The temperature of the water in the sump is controlled by varying the speed of the fans. The water in the sump is then used to cool the condensing section of a chiller or to cool the secondary loop directly via a heat exchanger (see water side economizer).