News | May 9, 2019

EPWater Honors El Paso Zoo As The 2019 Conservation Hero

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Conservation efforts, best practices help Zoo stand out among the rest

El Paso Water will recognize the El Paso Zoo as the 2019 Conservation Hero at the May 10 El Paso Chihuahuas baseball game. The Zoo earned the distinction for their water efficiency best practices. A video illustrating the Zoo’s efforts will be shown at the game, and EPWater President and CEO John Balliew will present the award to Interim Zoo Director Leonor Wilson.

“This is quite an honor for the Zoo to be recognized as a conservation hero,” said Leonor Wilson, Interim Zoo Director. “We do our best to inspire people to adopt ways to preserve our natural resources. The Zoo took the right steps by installing low-flow toilets, metered sinks and reclaimed water for irrigation.”

EPWater was invited by the City of El Paso to audit hundreds of its facilities for water efficiency practices and to make recommendations for water savings at many others. Of the various facilities audited in 2018, the Zoo scored highest for its practices, which earned them this year’s Conservation Hero distinction.

In addition to the Zoo, four libraries, six police department facilities and 17 fire stations and facilities received recognition as Certified Water Partners for demonstrating best practices. Many other City facilities will see water efficiency improvements as the result of a water conservation initiative between El Paso Water and the City.

“The Conservation team performed an audit over a four-day period at the Zoo,” said Water Conservation Manager Anai Padilla. The team looked at 28 buildings, including 114 faucets, 59 toilets and 14 urinals. “Overall the Zoo demonstrated best practices with only a couple of fixtures flowing below best practice standards,” she said.

The Certified Water Partner Program began in 2017 with the vision of engaging commercial and institutional customers by raising awareness of water conservation practices and giving positive recognition for implementation.

The program began with a focus on the restaurant sector, and currently there are 54 restaurants that have earned certification. In 2017 and 2018, top scoring water efficient restaurants earned the Conservation Hero recognition.

In April, the EPWater’s Certified Water Partner Program was selected as a 2019 Conservation Wrangler by Texan by Nature, a Texas-based conservation non-profit founded by former First Lady Laura Bush.

“The Certified Water Partner Program is an innovative approach to engage businesses and institutions in water conservation strategies in El Paso. The program encourages conservation that benefits not only natural resources, but the local economy and community as well,” said Taylor Keys, Texan by Nature Program Manager.

For more on the Community Certified Water Partner program click here.

SOURCE: El Paso Water