September 16, 2019
Our Santa Fe River needs your help now!
Years ago when we were involved with stopping four other bottling operations, the public asked us to stop the taking of spring water by an existing water bottling plant near Ginnie Springs. At that time, it was not possible to do so because the laws, rules and regulations were written and interpreted by the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) in favor of the corporate grab for water. There have been three companies who have come and gone, and now this permit is on its 4th corporation bottling our freshwater springs, Nestle.
A private permittee holds the 20-year permit to extract up to 420,480,000 gallons per year from our springs and river. This permit expired this past June. We now have an opportunity to challenge the renewal application. We need your help as you are an existing user in the vicinity of Ginnie Springs and the Devil’s Eye/Ear Complex spring system. We want to explain, through your testimonial to the state water management agency, that there are already problems afoot in our shared water supply.
Since 1999, when this water bottling facility first turned on the pumps, we want to know if you have developed a sinkhole on your property, if your well has dried up and/or if you have experienced any problems obtaining fresh, clean water. Please call us at 386-243-0322 and let us know. We need you NOW, more than ever, to stop this water grab.
One of the reasons for the renewal of this permit is that science advances and nature changes. Today our beloved Santa Fe River and its springs are deemed to be impaired and in recovery, and as a Priority Focus Area and an Outstanding Florida Waterway there are special legislative opportunities for recharge and protection funding.
The SRWMD Board and staff are required to use the 3 Prong test in consideration of this water use permit. This is where we need your help. Please consider the following statements and how any of this applies to you as existing users who live in and around the wells into our springs, river and aquifer.
3 Prong Test:
1. Is it reasonable and beneficial?
2. Does it interfere with existing users?
3. Is it consistent with the public interest?
Please follow oursantaferiver.org to learn more about the Nestle grab into our community water supply. Additionally, right now you have the opportunity to write to the SRWMD and tell them your comments as a neighbor and existing user, this link has directions to the SRWMD comment portal.
At some time in the future, we may ask you to join us in a show of support as we appeal to the SRWMD Board when it is in front of them for a vote. We will provide further details when they become available.
Giving the River a Voice,
Mike Roth, President
Our Santa Fe River, Inc.