Elephant swimming Melbourne Zoo

It turns out even animals can do their part to help the environment.

Water is collected from rainwater run-off, animal wash-downs and over flowing lakes before being treated at an on-site water treatment plant.

The Class-A recycled water that is produced is then used to fill animal’s pools, water the grounds and even cool off the elephants.

Half of all water used by the zoo is now recycled onsite, with the water treatment plant producing 105 megalitres of water in 2017-18.

This is enough to fill 42 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

DELWP encourages the use of recycled water and other alternative water use programs through its Integrated Water Management program, helping businesses across Victoria explore innovative ways to use recycled water, stormwater and rainwater.

It has even changed what is planted in the grounds, with a focus on hardier native species that need less water, thus reducing demand on the water supply.

Victoria experienced its third hottest year on record in 2018, and with a warm, dry autumn predicted it’s more important than ever for businesses and households to do look at how they can save water.

Elephant swimming Melbourne Zoo

This month, Melbourne’s water storage levels were sitting at 55.1 per cent, which is the lowest level since July 2011 and 158 gigalitres (GL) less than the same time last year.

The desalination plant is helping to boost these levels, adding 76 GL into our water supply in the last three years, with another order of 125 GL recently announced for the 2019/20 year.

Melburnians love saving water, with average daily water use falling from 245 litres per person in 2001 to 161 litres per person today – providing an annual saving of 150 GL. By saving an extra half a bucket per person per day we can reach our target of 155 litres per person per day.

Permanent water saving rules around the use of garden hoses, watering systems and fountains are also ensuring households around the state are making the most efficient use of Victoria’s precious water resources.

Elephant swimming Melbourne Zoo

All images courtesy of Zoos Victoria.

Page last updated: 11/10/19