For the second year in a row Wichita Falls is investing money into a local business to help save water. Tuesday city council approved a 50/50 $1.2 million public private partnership with Alcoa Howmet. The money will be used to help build a 2.4 million wastewater treatment system.
Last years successful one million dollar investment into PPG helped them reclaim nearly 80 million gallons over the course of a year. It's a similar goal for Alcoa. The company said with this investment the company could save as much as 12 million gallons of water a year. The city feels comfortable helping out one of its largest employers.
"We realize that Alcoa is a very important economic asset to the community," said Wichita Falls City Manager Darren Leiker.
The company helps employ over 900 Texomans most of them from Wichita Falls. According to an economic impact study by a Midwestern State Professor the company brings in a direct $14 million to the city.
"We believe it's a good investment on a couple of different fronts, one obviously on the water conservation front it makes sense," said Leiker.
Conservation projects are significantly cheaper than water supply projects the city is working on.
"It'll support the local business it'll reduce annual operating cost for utilities and it'll make them more competitive in their business and hopefully cement their future here longer," said Leiker.
Wichita Falls Alcoa has been told that by financially assisting with the proposed water reuse project Wichita Falls will be positioned for future expansion projects.