Action Alert – High Springs City Commissioners Will Address Nestle Issue

highsprings In: Action Alert - High Springs City Commissioners Will Address Nestle Issue | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Calling all High Springs residents opposing the water grab at Ginnie Springs by Seven Springs Water Company – we want you to give a voice to the river and springs we call home.  On Thursday January 9 at 6:30 pm, we will be in front of the High Springs Council, on agenda, to ask them one last time to vote on a Resolution opposing this water permit to be used for freshwater sold in plastic bottles.  

We need you to implore them to demonstrate to the Suwannee River Water Management District that water bottlers taking our water is not in the best interest of our community.

 The Seven Springs Water Company intends to sell the water to Nestle, a company who notoriously goes into rural communities that have weak water laws and rules to secure permitting to bottle freshwater and profit from the extraction.  Nestle is already bottling in at least five springsheds in Florida at the amount of 3.3 million gallons a day. As a matter of “public interest” we need High Springs solidarity to ask the water managers to deny this water use permit. 

 The science and legislative intent to protect our natural resources are already on the books and that is why this permitting process is being carefully analyzed by the SRWMD staff with a greater than usual three Requests for Additional Information so far.  But the facility is building out nonetheless, even though they do not have a new permit, and they continue to operate on an existing 20-year-old permit that was issued long before Florida knew we had water problems with water quantity and quality.  

We need you now, more than ever.  Plan to get there when the doors open at 5:30 pm, or come when you can because your voice matters now more than ever, as Nestle employees will likely be called upon to fill the seats as they have in the past.  The employees will bemoan the fact that they have a job; that some of them grew up around here; the owner of the water use permit will speak to the amount of land she holds and the private campground the family owns and how great they have been to our freshwater resources as a business; and these statements somehow  give her privilege to this freshwater. 

We need to you speak to OUR water needs – High Springs and the surrounding areas are growing, and they already have city water that often has delivery problems.  Collateral issues such as additional excess truck traffic through town leading to noise and air pollution problems are also of concern.

Let’s encourage our City Council to take a position opposing this bottler which pollutes the entire planet with plastics and other wastes from this industrial, extraction and packaging business model.  Enough is enough, take a stand Thursday, Jan. 9th at the High Springs Council meeting, for freshwater, springs and Santa Fe River.  Be a strong voice for your community and ask your council members to vote to sign a Resolution opposing this water grab in 2020.

If you are unable to attend but still want to help, please call or write to the city commissioners listed below:

City of High Springs Commissioner Contact Information

Commissioner Linda Jones………………………….386-454-0285; [email protected]

Mayor Byran Williams…………….386-454-0245; [email protected]

Commissioner Scott Jamison…………..386-454-4107; [email protected]

Vice Mayor Gloria James…………….386-454-9834; [email protected]

Commissioner Nancy Lavin……………..386-454-0214; [email protected]

20 Comments

  1. I am an owner of a home in High Springs and oppose greatly of the removal of Spring water from our Santa Fe River basin. There should be a law against bottling spring water for consumption. All waters for bottling should be purified water or our water from the ocean. They should be working on desalination. Being that the population has increased since the thirties to now. We now have a water problem all over the country. This is more of a reason to start desalination plants. ( our oceans are rising) not taking from our Springs. The Springs are their own eco system and need to have time to regenerate. This will help in more ways than one. Not fill the pockets of just a couple people. I hate kayaking the rivers and seeing what is happening to our Springs.
    A big P.S. all this water is placed into plastic bottles which most end up on our streets and highways.
    NOW THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT. If this does get passed in any way then every resident of High Springs should receive royalties in a check from Nestles Quarterly.

  2. As one of the first victims of the depletion of the aquifer, with the spring that gives our city its’ name going dry many years ago, High Springs should be especially aware of the damage being done. We are in a period of relatively good rainfall, but if you remember back a few years, we were under drought conditions, and the well at our home went dry, costing us, and many other residents, thousands of dollars for a new well. To think the droughts won’t return, with possibly even greater negative impacts, would be extremely short sighted.

    Our aquifer, and the Santa Fe river, are supposedly under protected status, and in recovery, but water levels continue to drop. To allow any more withdrawal, with a virtual give-away of the public’s water to a foreign corporation, amounts to a dereliction of duty by the governmental entities responsible for protecting our resources. You should ask yourself, when will things improve? Not ever, if things continue on our current path.

    The City of High Springs derives great economic benefits from a healthy Santa Fe river, with far-reaching job related issues not immediately apparent. To think we should allow any water withdrawal, for the few corporate jobs created, is a disservice to this publicly-owned resource, and to the local economy.

    I hope the Commission realizes what is at stake here, and unanimously supports a resolution to protect our water. If not, perhaps they should consider changing the City’s name from High Springs, to High and Dry.

    Harry Patterson
    High Springs, FL

  3. I OPPOSE THE DRAINING OF OUR SPRINGS BY NESTLE. AND IN TOP OF THAT FOR THEIR SOLE PROFITABILITY? WHERE ARE THE COMMISSIONERS AND ALL PERTINENT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT ALL CITIZEN’S WELL BEING ? SLEEPING IN THE SWITCH?

  4. I think it is absolutely absurd that Nestle has been profiting millions of dollars and draining our rivers and springs for who knows how long!! These waterways are NOTICEABLY and an all time low. How can this keep continuing?? Please, as a resident of this great state and someone who cares very much about the future of these springs and waterways, I am begging this to be STOPPED!! It is unethical and only making a handful of people more rich than they know what to do with. Lets NOT even get on to the fact that the plastic created for this FREE water they are taking is a HUGE environmental concern!! Please take the right stand!! Thank you.

  5. I am adamantly opposed to the draining of the spring water. It makes no sense at all that natural resources are able to be exploited by anyone, much less corporations. Regular citizens are sanctioned if they litter, yet corporations can suck millions of gallons of water daily and profit from it hugely. How is this even OK? Regardless of whether the property they egress is privately owned or not, certainly not all of the water depleted is contained in that limited area. I am concerned about the consequences of the water table being lowered, both in a geological sense (catastrophic ground collapse, for example), an ecological sense (the balance and quality of animal and plant life in the Springs) and as a source of drinking water for area residents. I think allowing the mass depletion of this water is a travesty. Please do not allow it to continue.

  6. Are there any plans to approach Gilchrist County Commission on this problem? The Ginnie Springs property, and the bottling property are in Gilchrist County.

  7. Nestle has historically taken advantage of underprivileged areas to exploit their natural resources irresponsible to the negative effects on the environment. Our natural resources are priceless. Keeping our air, water, soil, and agriculture in its most pristine way is the highest measure of our civilization. Keep Nestle out of Florida!

  8. I was in Egypt recently, and all of the water bottles given us on our tour were from Nestle. Is Florida’s water going around the world?

  9. I strongly oppose bottling of springs’ water! We need to protect and preserve our beautiful springs! Water is our life line! There are other ways to get good clean drinking water without taking from our springs! Springs are not for profit!

  10. I oppose the bottling and sale of fresh water from the Springs in Florida. Plastic bottles are an environmental disaster. Once the damage is done, it’s next to impossible to repair. Prevent the damage and degradation of our beautiful natural resources.

  11. I strongly oppose allowing Nestle to continue to take the water from our beloved springs like vampires. Our springs need protection, not more depletion.
    Please vote to stop this now, before our springs are destroyed.
    Do the right thing, please!!!!
    Carol Glavin

  12. I have noticed that Nestle is already advertising jobs available in High Springs,,,do they think this is a done deal???

  13. By now, most people know that Nestle holds profitability over everything else… including the environment. Can we not be among the last folks to figure out that they do not have the best interest of the public in mind?
    We are talking about the water which we need to survive.
    How this is even on the plate is something we should all be ashamed of as a society.

  14. Commissioners, you are a public body whose duty is to promote and protect the public good. Please define the public good in giving away a limited public resource to a private business for the sole purpose of making money for the private business to the detriment of the public resource!

  15. I oppose the bottling of the Springs’ water.

    We need to send a clear message to water bottling companies that they have to use other options at their disposal but that they can’t use the Springs water.

    The sale of Springs water is just one part of the problem. Innumerable plastic bottles are another one.

    Governments need to research and promote alternatives to bottled water.

  16. I oppose the bottling and sale of our spring waters. Please do not allow this to continue. Leave the springs alone!
    Don’t take the water!

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