Water, Precious Water.
The Zoo strives to create beautiful and water-wise landscapes in all exhibit areas, but nowhere is this more relevant than in our newest landscape area, Encounter Africa. Not only did this exhibit area open during a time of drought, but like Colorado, much of Africa has a dry climate with limited water resources.
Water issues in Africa:
In Africa easy access to clean water is largely nonexistent. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest availability of clean and safe drinking water of any region in the world. 355 million Africans do not have access to an improved water source, and it has been estimated that collectively Africans spend 40 billion hours every year walking to collect water. Imagine what it would be like if we each had to walk to the nearest river or well to retrieve and carry our water back home!
Water issues in Colorado:
In Colorado Springs and along the front range, water issues revolve more around the increased demand due to our ever-growing population and the fact that we use almost half of our limited supply of water on our landscapes.
From 1990 to 2000 the population of Colorado Springs grew by more than 30%. This ever-growing demand for water places an increased burden on our natural ecosystem. The Colorado River, which supplies 70 percent of our water in Colorado Springs, no longer reaches the ocean because Colorado and 7 surrounding states collectively use it all.
What you can do to help:
Both the environmental impact of our water use, and the ever-increasing cost of water, can be incentives for us to reduce water usage on our properties in favor of water-efficient landscapes.
1). Discover a list of landscape plants used in the Encounter Africa landscape. These plants are both ideally suited to our climate, and are water-thrifty plants.
2). For additional suggestions to reduce water usage in your garden, view Seven Tips to Reduce Water Usage in Your Garden.