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We appreciate the education on Nestle’s aspirations to further lower the flow of Ginnie Springs and the Santa Fe River, but we must correct inaccuracies here.
To our knowledge, Nestle has not bought Seven Springs Water Company. Nestle does pay Seven Springs for the water they sell. Seven Springs owns the permit and sells to Nestle.
And finally the name of the river is Santa Fe River, and the name of our organization is Our Santa Fe River. Inc.
If you have not done so already, please follow the link in the article to make comments and sign the petition against this unnecessary water withdrawal.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
There’s a fight brewing between people trying to protect North Central Florida’s Ginnie Springs and a subsidiary of a multinational company that wants to pump more than 1 million gallons of water a day to quench America’s thirst for bottled water.
The Seven Springs Water Co., a supplier to Nestlé, is asking the Suwannee River Water Management District for a five-year renewal of a permit allowing it to pump nearly 1.2 million gallons a day from wells near Ginnie Springs and the Santa Fe River, in Gilchrist County, about 25 miles south of Lake City.
“This strategically located facility will enable us to more efficiently serve current and future customers of our popular Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life bottled water brands,” Nestlé Waters Executive Vice President Alex Gregorian wrote when the company bought Seven Springs Water in January. [Ed. Note: Nestle bought the water plant in December, 2018, but does not own Seven Springs Water Company.]
How much will the company pay for taking all of this fresh water from Florida? A total of $115 for a one-time permit fee. That’s because the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 declared spring water, rivers and lakes were the property of Florida but did not set a price on such bodies of water.
Calls are growing for the permit to be denied.
Our Sante [Sic.] Fe River, a nonprofit that works to protect the river and its watershed, is urging the public to speak out against the permit. The group has distributed bumper stickers and yard signs opposing the permit renewal.
“Any withdrawals at this point hurt the case to recover the river,” the group’s president, Mike Roth, told the Independent Florida Alligator. “It’s just basically tampering with nature in a way that’s kind of dangerous.”
Nestlé is plotting to raid 1.1 million gallons of community water a day from Florida’s Ginnie Springs. Sign here to stop this corporate water grab: http://sumof.us/513918094t?referring_akid=61847.14793277.iF3BUc&referring_source=fwd …
Protect these springs from Nestlé’s greed
Nestlé is plotting to drain this beautiful place to churn out millions of plastic bottles of water — and it won’t even pay a dime! [Ed. note: as stated above, Nestle pays Seven Springs Water Company for the water.]
In July, the district requested the company provide details on four issues before the permit would be considered:
- A state-required market analysis on the need for 1.152 million gallons per day. While that was the maximum allowed under the previous 20-year permit, the highest reported water use at the plant over the past four years was 0.27 million gallons a day.
- A water budget for the facility that shows potable water use, fire suppression and other needs.
- An evaluation of the impact on wetlands of the proposed withdrawal must be shown, including potential harm to threatened or endangered species.
- Nestlé Waters must show that the withdrawal will not cause a change in the water levels or flows of the spring from the normal rate.
Nestlé’s natural resources manager, George Ring, has claimed that drawing 1.2 million gallons of water per day from the Santa Fe would represent less than .05 percent of the total daily volume, which would not affect the overall water levels.
The Suwannee County Water Management District is expecting to vote on the permit extension sometime between November and January 2020.
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