The Suwannee River Water Management District will consider the Seven Springs/Nestle permit request at the next Governing Board Meeting, on Tuesday, August 11th.
It’s time to stop giving away our most precious natural resource to anyone with a pump, a pipe, and a dream to make money. The Santa Fe is below the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area. This permit allows a few to profit at the expense of the river and the public while taking the river further from hope of recovery. These are the moments when we find out who the Suwannee River Water Management Governing Board really serves, the waters and people of North Florida or those looking to get rich off selling our water.
We are asking that you take action.
We’ve made it easy for you to do these two things:
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An overview of this permit
Where we left off:
In early March the SRWMD was scheduled to consider the Seven Springs/Nestle Consumptive Use Permit (CUP), a meeting that a large number of us were planning to attend in order to speak out against the permit. Staff had recommended denial of the permit. Just before the meeting took place, Nestle and Seven Springs filed a petition for an administrative hearing, which took the decision out of the hands of the district, and out of the minds of an outraged public, while the judge considered the challenge.
1. Five months later, the Administrative Law Judge has just returned consideration of the application back to the District.
2. SRWMD staff has reversed their recommendation and now recommends approval of the permit.
3. The permit will be considered at the governing board meeting on Tuesday August 11th, which will be held online, and we encourage you to call in.
1. The members of the Governing Boards of water management districts are appointed by the governor. Historically governing boards had representatives from industry, agriculture, science, and conservation. Of the SRWMD’s NINE Governing Board Seats, only SIX seats are filled, with NO representation from conservation or science. Governor DeSantis has left most of Florida’s water management district governing boards with barely a quorum to operate. No permit decisions should be made until this governing board has been fully appointed.2. This is an issue of great public interest. Why only one week’s notice? Why rush to hold it during this pandemic, when the people cannot attend the meeting in person.3. Most importantly, this permit is not in the public’s best interest. The flow in the Santa Fe River and nearby springs has declined below the “Minimum Flow and Level,” or “MFL”: the level at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area. When that happens, the law says it must go into “recovery.” Issuing further permits while this river is in recovery so that Seven Springs Water Company can profit is in no way “in the public interest.”
If your browser does not support this button feature, you can copy and paste these email addresses:
Virginia.Johns@SRWMD.org, Donald.Quincey@SRWMD.org, Richard.Schwab@SRWMD.org, Virginia.Sanchez@SRWMD.org, Charles.Keith@SRWMD.org, Gary.Jones@SRWMD.orgAnd use this message as a start:Dear SRWMD Governing Board,
I write today to ask you to follow the science and the law, and deny the Seven Springs Consumptive Use Permit.The Santa Fe River is already experiencing significant harm from excessive pumping leading to the degradation of this Outstanding Florida Water. As you know, due to the district’s past misjudgment in permitting excessive Consumptive Use Permits, the Santa Fe River is currently under a recovery strategy. We cannot continue to approve permits like the Seven Springs bottled water permit if we have any hope for our rive and springs to recover.A Consumptive Use Permit must be consistent with the public interest. I urge you to listen to the overwhelming public opposition to this permit. The public knows what is in their best interest, and it is not issuing a permit that further harms a river struggling to recover to the benefit of one company.Please protect the Santa Fe River by denying the Seven Springs Consumptive Use Permit.Sincerely,