Texas beef plant named 2015 state water conservation winner
Texas Water Foundation has announced that it will present its annual Blue Legacy Award to a Friona, Texas, beef processing facility owned and operated by Cargill, a global food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services provider.
FRIONA, TEXAS, March 16, 2015 -- The Texas Water Foundation (TWF), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to optimizing water use throughout the state, has announced that it will present its annual Blue Legacy Award to a Friona, Texas, beef processing facility owned and operated by Cargill, a global food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services provider.
TWF's Blue Legacy Award is presented to utilities that have demonstrated outstanding and innovative commitment to Texas's mission of promoting responsible management of water resources as well as conservation of the state's water resources. Cargill's Friona plant is the only manufacturing facility receiving a 2015 award for water conservation at the "Texas Water Day at the Capitol" event held in the city of Austin on Thursday, March 26. The company was nominated for the award by the Lubbock-based High Plains Water District.
Friona is located in the Texas Panhandle and sits atop the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest underground bodies of water on the planet. The aquifer covers 174,000 square miles in part of eight states throughout the Great Plains, including portions of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Further, it provides water for nearly 30 percent of irrigated land in the United States. In Texas, the Ogallala Aquifer supplies water to 36,000 square miles spread across 48 counties.
The aquifer has been stressed by population growth, agricultural irrigation, industrial use and drought. During the past six years, Cargill's Friona beef processing plant has reduced water use by 23 percent, saving more than 150 million gallons annually. Treated water from the plant is also provided to local farmers, reducing their need for water from the aquifer. The plant team has also created methods for capturing water used in heat exchangers and other equipment that can be reused for exterior plant cleaning.
In a related event, a landmark water rights agreement benefitting both the City of Friona and Cargill was signed in mid-2014 after a thorough assessment and reviews of numerous options. The final agreement involved Friona exchanging 386 acres south of town to Cargill for 476 acres owned by the company north of town. Both parcels include water rights, and Friona Mayor Pro Tem Greg Lewellen called the swap a "win/win for the city and Cargill." Friona estimates it will save millions of dollars developing water access for city use on land closer to the community, while Cargill will have water in closer proximity to its plant, reducing infrastructure and handling costs.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial, and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments, and communities, the company helps people thrive by applying its insights and 150 years of experience. Cargill has 143,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.