The End of Bottled Water will be Televised, Seven Springs Water Company -v- Suwannee River Water Management District hearing next week



Our Santa Fe River, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501-(c)(3) organization incorporated in Florida on December 18, 2007. Our organization is composed of concerned citizens working to protect the waters and lands supporting the aquifer, springs and rivers within the watershed of the Santa Fe River by promoting public awareness pertaining to the ecology, quality, and quantity of the waters and lands immediately adjacent to and supporting the Santa Fe River, including its springs and underlying aquifer.

Hello Our Santa Fe River Members and All Interested Parties,
Our Santa Fe River is full of hope and thoughtfulness…..
The End of Bottled Water will be Televised, Seven Springs Water Company -v- Suwannee River Water Management District hearing next week>

We are inviting you to attend an important hearing via a Judge’s Order which allows the public to stay tuned in for a live ZOOM broadcast of the legal proceeding about bottled water in Florida.

Nestle Water North America, Inc. has been working with Seven Springs Water Company (SSWC) since 2018 trying to secure a Water Use Permit for 1,152,000 gallons per day from the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) coming out of the Ginnie Springs/Devil’s Eye Complex on the Santa Fe River.

We have some news that pertains to the public interest and the Florida Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) court hearing between SSWC (Nestle) and SRWMD happening next week, October 19 (Monday), 20 (Tuesday) and 21 (Wednesday), 2020, beginning at 9 am each morning.  That news is that this hearing will be broadcast via ZOOM for anyone to view.  The DOAHs are always public, but normally one must go to the meeting location(s) in person and those are generally held in Tallahassee.  But because of the COVID pandemic, Judge Chisenhall has made an Order to allow this to be seen in real time as it happens via ZOOM.  If you do attend in Tallahassee, at the hearing courtroom, you will be placed in an alternate room to keep maximum distances between all the parties and their witnesses.

In the enclosed attachment ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO ALLOW EXPERT WITNESS TO TESTIFY VIA ZOOM, there are specific instructions on how to engage in this process without going to Tallahassee.  Any interested organizations and people that have been following this case can let their members know about how to watch the trial from their computer or handheld devices.

“In addition, the undersigned and the parties shall make the foregoing information available to any members of the public who express a desire to watch the final hearing. In order to facilitate the public’s ability to monitor the proceedings, the undersigned and counsel for both parties shall bring  laptop computers to the final hearing and be logged into Zoom during the duration of the final hearing.”
How to tune in the ZOOM hearing next week:

At least 15 minutes before the commencement of the hearing, the parties are
instructed to join the Zoom conference by one of the following two methods:

a. Computer or Cell Phone with Web Camera – If there is stable access to
the internet and either a computer or cell phone with a camera, access the following
website to join the meeting: Participant and observers will be
prompted to download/run the Zoom application and enter the following
Meeting ID: 704 333 0789
Password: 861937

b. Cell Phone or Landline without Camera – If stable internet access and/or
a computer/cell phone with a camera is not available, the following number is may
be utilized using a cell phone or landline phone. When prompted enter the following
Telephone Number: (929)436-2866
Meeting ID: 704 333 0789
Participant ID: press the pound symbol (#)
Password: 861937

For more information about the DOAH case, if needed…
Here is the link to the dockets.  Please type in DOAH Case # 20-3581.

Once you open the attachment, you will still see Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) as an “Intervenor”, however our attorney under our request asked to be removed as an Intervenor because we could not bring in new information to their case.

Please visit to learn more about the bottled Water Use Permit in north Florida, which the owners of Ginnie Springs under the name Seven Springs Water Company want to take, for free, nearly one million gallons a day from the Santa Fe River and its springs to be sold at a premium to a multinational food and beverage corporation, Nestle S.A., who intends to put this spring water into plastic bottles under the name brand Zephyrhills.

P.S….Yes, this is a very important hearing, but it is only a hearing, it does not completely decide the Water Use Permit.  After Judge Chisenhall rules, the permit application goes back to SRWMD for a board members’ vote that will ultimately decide the fate of our Santa Fe River spring water being put into plastic bottles.
Stay tuned and please make your comments known in the SRWMD permit portal, there is still time to say something meaningful.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
Board Member, Our Santa Fe River
Our Santa Fe River, LLC
2070 SW County Road 138
Fort White, FL
352-222-8893 cell/text ok 
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What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, fish and all men.

The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs to him?


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