Editorial: Taxes alone won’t save the springs

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Risa Wray wants to distance herself from Nestle, but that is impossible as she enables Nestle with  water and plastic pollution.  She wants to draw down the Santa Fe River more, even though it is significantly damaged already.  Her water pumping further delays the recovery of the river and spring and she does this for personal profit.


Read the complete article here in the Gainesville Sun.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-


Editorial: Taxes alone won’t save the springs

By The Gainesville Sun editorial board

Posted at 2:00 AM

risa wray In: Editorial: Taxes alone won’t save the springs | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River
Risa Wray owner of Seven Springs Water Co.

Until groundwater withdrawals are significantly reduced, no amount of taxes are going to save the springs of the Santa Fe River.

Water bottlers should pay more for siphoning groundwater that would otherwise flow through Florida’s springs, but that alone won’t reverse their decline.

Bills filed in the Florida Legislature would tax bottling companies on each gallon withdrawn from state waters such as the aquifer and springs. One proposal, House Bill 861/Senate Bill 1112, would charge water bottlers a tax of 12.5 cents per gallon, which would go into a trust fund for stormwater management and wastewater treatment projects.

“They should pay no differently than the other bottlers like Coke and Pepsi. That’s where I got the 12.5 cents — I just want parity with other bottlers,” Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat who introduced the legislation, told The Sun. “Obviously, (soft drink bottlers) are getting water from municipalities, but they are paying for it.”

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Other bills would create a lower fee and more oversight for bottlers. Senate Bill 1098 would assess a fee of 5 cents per gallon on water extracted for the production of bottled water, while Senate Bill 1096 would require the state to monitor water-withdrawal permits filed by bottling companies.

The measures come as Seven Springs Water Co. is seeking approval of a permit to allow more than 1.15 million gallons of water per day to be withdrawn out of Ginnie Springs in Gilchrist County. Seven Springs pays just a one-time $115 for the permit and sells the water for an undisclosed amount to Nestle Waters North America, which is expanding its water-bottling plant there.

The Suwannee River Water Management District last week received two petitions, including one signed by about 384,000 people worldwide, urging it to reject the permit. Nestle and Seven Springs officials argue, including in a guest column in The Sun today, that they have a vested interest in protecting the water supply….

After all, the water management district has already determined the Santa Fe River is beyond the point of significant harm due to the reduction in flow from springs such as Ginnie that feed into it. Until groundwater withdrawals are reduced, no amount of taxes are going to save these springs.

The Sun editorial board consists of Publisher Rynni Henderson, Executive Editor Douglas Ray and Opinion Editor Nathan Crabbe.


  1. All about the BILLION $$$ PROFIT that is made. Not anything about the state of Florida, or any state they are RAPING the water from. They do NOT care because they won’t be around for their grand children’s water needs.
    BUT I will teach my children WHO ruined their future water supply and why. I will NOT destroy history.
    Why is Canada water not used? AH same as BRIZIL doesn’t pollute with large CHICKEN FARMS as pilgrims pride does$$$ to other countries.
    We will pay the TAX while they laugh all the way to the banks with their profits

  2. Taxes isn’t the way to go…taxes are ALWAYS paid by the consumer (you and I). As long
    as ‘snake-oil’ pitchmen have been around, there is ALWAYS those who buy into claims
    (“organic” or such like) who are willing (or enticed) to pay whatever price for whatever
    benefit advertised. Admittedly, “sin-taxes” are paid by the smoker, drinker, etc., but an
    undisclosed fiscal consequence is foisted upon the “untaxed” community. In my view,
    a moratorium leading to an ultimate ban on siphoning public waters for private gain is
    the only way to an environmental ‘good’ that benefits ALL of the citizens of Florida.

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