This past weekend at the zoo was volunteer training for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the zoo. It was two days of informal information on all the possible departments in the zoo to help out with. That means they heard from zookeepers, horticulture, security, previous volunteers and of course the education staff. The volunteer training is very informative on the animals in the zoo as well as a an inspiring learning experience. In line with my duties, I gave a presentation on the El Paso Water Utilities Discovery Center and all about water. I started off my presentation with the first slide asking a simple question: How long can you live without water? Do you know?
The answer and the best way to remember it is to think in three’s. You can live about three minutes without oxygen, three days without water and three weeks without food. The discovery center at the zoo is a collaboration between the El Paso Water Utilities and the El Paso Zoo. The building hosts several fun, interactive exhibits that inform kids and adults about how much water they use every day and where it comes from. As I continued my presentation I continued to share some shocking statistics:
– On average, it takes 5 gallons of water to flush a toilet.
– The average El Pasoan, uses 111 gallons of water per day. Some cities around the country use over 500 gallons of water per person per day.
– The water we drink in El Paso comes from three sources: the Rio Grande and two underground aquifers the Mesilla Bolson and Hueco Bolson. It depends on the time of year and water conditions where the water is coming from.
– About 70 percent of water use in the U.S. goes to agriculture processes.
– Eating a quarter pound hamburger uses about 8 gallons of water to prepare.
I along with several other presenters shared their story of our journey to where we are today. All of us hopefully inspired everyone to follow their dreams and never give up. I was inspired by my co-workers stories, several that started off as volunteers at the zoo. Others, that were not hired the first time and kept applying until they were. I feel fortunate to work in an environment where everyone wants to continue to learn and strives to do the best job possible. When volunteers come to the zoo they gain so much just from the interactions with all the people working to make the zoo a quality destination. And what a great resource to be a part of with so many departments to be involved with there is something for everyone!