Goal update

Baseline: 356.5 million gallons/yr

Q1 2022: 271 million gallons/yr

Goal (2021): 267 million gallons/yr

Recent Achievements

Proactive Response to COVID-19

During the 10-week closure due to COVID-19 in Spring 2020, members of the Energy and Water Management Team sought out sources of water that could be reduced or turned off. In tandem with reductions in energy, these activities saved the zoo approximately $42,000 in 10 weeks.

Owen Sea Lion Shores

Owen Sea Lion Shores provides Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s sea lions with a new state-of-the-art habitat featuring a 275-thousand-gallon pool, 40-foot-long underwater viewing window, natural boundaries, heated rocks, an underwater kelp forest and sandy beach areas. Innovative design use significantly less water than the current Owen Sea Lion Pavilion while providing a better habitat for our sea lions.


Energy & Water Management Team

The Zoo’s cross-department Energy & Water Management Team monitors energy and water use across the Zoo. By identifying high and low utility usage, this team provides data to inform energy and water saving solutions to help meet the Zoo’s sustainability goals.

Exhibit Tracking

The Zoo will establish a new baseline for Owen’s Shores in late 2021 after 1 year of operation.

Fixing Leaks

Through ongoing water use monitoring, the Zoo continues to identify and fix leaks on Zoo grounds, saving thousands of gallons of water each year.

Upcoming Projects


The Zoo achieved its 2021 water reduction goal 2 years early. During 2021, the zoo will seek to set a new 5-year target on its way to achieving its long term neutral water footprint goal.

Rain Barrels for Browse Team

In an effort to more sustainably produce browse for the Zoo’s animals, the Zoo is purchasing 10 275 gallon rain barrels through the Green Loan Fund. The Browse Team will use collected water to irrigate plants grown on grounds that are collected for animal browsing. Run-off is a significant challenge in the Midwest, where rains can be strong and infrequent. Water collection can reduce run-off, which improves water quality of local streams.

Water Bottle Refilling Stations

The Zoo is updating water bottle filling stations with new options that fill water bottles. Thereby reducing waste

Our Goals