Now that we're into the first chilly days of the autumn/winter season, it may be difficult to remember the extraordinary long, hot summer we experienced in 2012. But when we see the higher prices for produce in the grocery store, it's easy to recall the prolonged drought that made for the driest summer in written history for the state of Indiana. The Indianapolis Zoo, along with other customers of Citizens Energy Group, was asked to contribute what we could to save water this past summer. Our plan included a number of different approaches that turned out to be quite successful.
In addition to our practice of planting drought resistant plants, we pushed ourselves even harder this summer. Obviously, there were times when restrictions were put on the Kroger Splash Park, which helped. But this summer we even harvested water from several of the air conditioning units on campus and managed to collect approximately 500 gallons of water that the horticulture staff used to hand-water landscapes, planters and trees - water that otherwise would have been lost to evaporation.
These efforts along with each area doing their part to reduce water consumption resulted in a 64% decrease in our water usage from mid-July to mid-August versus our usage in early summer. In addition to the water conservation, we also managed to save $14,000 in the process!
Proving once again that the conservation of natural resources is not only the right thing to do, it's cost effective, too. Read more about water conservation at the Zoo.