The Amarillo City Council approved a proposal at their meeting Tuesday evening to allow the City of Borger to purchase a portion of the water it is allotted daily by the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.
This agreement by the two cities does not reflect a water shortage here in Borger, but is rather a sort of safety net (or as it was put by City Manager Eddie Edwards, a “safety valve”) stemming from the forthcoming expansion of the Agrium plant located on FM 1551.
Construction of the plant’s new $720 million dollar urea production unit, which began last month, will require an estimated 2 million gallons of water per day to operate once completed. A new well field is being built to provide the water needed, and this agreement merely serves as a protective measure should the wells not be completed by the time Agrium’s new unit is ready to begin production.
The interlocal arrangement will provide the opportunity for the City of Borger to purchase some of the City of Amarillo’s daily water allotment from the CRMWA. The agreement, which would not take effect until March 1, 2015 when the Agrium expansion is expected to be completed, would allow Borger to purchase up to 3 million gallons per day of Amarillo’s allotment, for the price of $1.23 per every 1,000 gallons. At maximum, this would incur a daily cost to the city of $3,690 dollars.
However, according to Edwards, the daily need for this much water is very unlikely. In fact, both cities still have high hopes that the Northwest Well Field Project will be completed in time for Agrium’s new unit to open, rendering the interlocal agreement unnecessary.
One stipulation of the arrangement would allow Amarillo to terminate the deal at any time, but, this appears to be a mere formality, as there seems to be little room for any problems to arise in this situation.
The 3 million gallon limit accounts for around 3% of Amarillo’s daily water allotment, and should provide Amarillo residents with no disturbances.
The deal is a 18-month arrangment which would run through September of 2016.