Water conservation has been a focus for more than a decade. Beginning in 1992, a water use analysis was performed to identify the zoo's use pattern. At that time, the zoo was using approximately 1.1 million gallons of water each day. Over the next several years, improvements were made to improve the 60+ year old water distribution lines and infrastructure. Exhibit pools were repaired and re-coated to correct leaks. Sub-meters were installed on major water user areas (bear pools, tiger pools, Wolf Wilderness pool, etc.) in an effort to isolate and identify potential underground leaks.
An updated water use analysis conducted in 2002 further identified areas for improvement. All water meters are read twice daily and recorded in a spreadsheet program that creates quarterly bar and pie charts to help staff visually understand the impact of proactive conservation practices. With daily collection of water use data, and consistent analysis of that data, animal keepers and Zoo staff can react to changes in water use patterns and implement ways to improve water efficiency and minimize waste. The Zoo expanded this analysis program by adding sub-meters to Monkey Island and the Pachyderm Building in 2003. In 2002, the average daily water consumption was 572,000 gallons per day, representing a 48% savings over average use in 1992.