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Excellent article here regarding Seven Springs Water Co. and Nestle Waters’ greedy attempt to further deplete our precious springs.
The moment of truth and credibility has arrived for the Suwannee River Water Management District — along with the sustainability of the water resources and the “public interest” it is charged with protecting and sustaining.
Logic dictates no other action than denial.
Read the entire 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 © Jim Tatum
Protect our precious water
By Terry Brant
Sunday May 23, 2020
Special to The Sun
Florida’s Legislature, Department of Environmental Protection and water management districts have made far-reaching and often disastrous decisions regarding the management of the state’s water resources.
Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes charges all three with protecting water resources and meeting the current and future needs of all areas of the state with abundant and pure water.
Instead, they have over-allocated and overdrawn groundwater aquifers; allowed pollution of many, if not most, of our water bodies including rivers, springs, estuaries, coastal zones and even our oceans; and degraded ecosystems. Blue-green algae is affecting our main economy, tourism, as well as our quality of life.
The water management districts have sufficient tools to meet both the spirit and letter of the
law, but historically lack of enforcement, politics, legislative influence peddling and developers have been allowed to make bad water policy. Resources and the public interest are ultimately left without power or voice.
Chapter 373 declares that “water constitutes a public resource benefiting the entire state … .“ This statute also mandates that “reasonable-beneficial use” means the water must be used “in a manner which is both reasonable and consistent with the public interest.”
The Suwannee River Water Management District staff even said that the permit sought by the Seven Springs Water Company for the Nestle Waters North America water-bottling plant near High Springs had not demonstrated that the increased pumping was consistent with the “public interest.”
But in its denial of the now-challenged water permit, it failed to state this specifically as a grounds for denial, relying instead on an easily remedied application contract provision, not on any adverse environmental impacts or a credible and comprehensive “public interest” analysis Importantly, Chapter 373 directs “the department [FDEP] and the governing board” to “take into account cumulative impacts on water resources and manage those resources in a manner to insure their sustainability.”
It is clearly not “reasonable,” “sustainable” or “consistent” with the public interest, nor does it benefit the “entire state,” to grant a 1.152 million gallon per day water permit to Seven Springs/Nestle from the Ginnie Springs, Santa Fe River system, an already polluted, harmed and endangered water source — one below minimum flow levels and in a “recovery” status, statutorily requiring immediate protection and restoration.
Extracting and bottling water in the public domain, putting it in plastic containers and sending it to other places where it cannot return to the water table, and doing so faster than the resource can replenish itself, is not an “essential public interest” or “service.”
It is an irretrievable further depletion of an impaired resource — unless pumping is reduced or halted.
The moment of truth and credibility has arrived for the Suwannee River Water Management District — along with the sustainability of the water resources and the “public interest” it is charged with protecting and sustaining….
The water permit as written must be denied. Terry Brant lives in Melrose and is legislative chairman of the Santa Fe Lake Dwellers Association.