Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

Be Informed.

Update on Current local Water Issues


Our Santa Fe River, Inc.


Welcome Newcomers to this posting. 

I post a weekly e-mail update on current water issues locally, nationally and worldly with the main emphasis on water bottling and quality on the Santa Fe River in north central Florida.  
If you wish to be removed from this weekly e-mail please contact Merrillee at 


Thank you all for doing your share in helping the Santa Fe River this past week.  I have included below several posting relating to the Gilchrist County “Quasi-Judicial” Hearing September 30, 2008. 

Here are details on Sept. 30th meeting (Blue Springs request for a “special use permit” to build a water bottling facility on CR 340, Poe Springs Road, in Gilchrist County, Florida). 

The meeting began 6 pm Sept. 30 and the vote was taken at 12:30 am the following day October 1, 2008… 6 1/2 hour meeting! 

The vote was  4…no and  1…yes
The Gilchrist Board of Commissioners voted like this…
Kenrick Thomas…no
Randy Durden…no
Tommy Langford, chairman of the board,…yes
Sharon Langford…no   (we’ve been told no relation to Tommy)
D. Ray Harrison…no 

There were over 250 people present and over 100 people spoke against the “special use” permit to build a water bottling facility on CR 340 in northern Gilchrist County, Florida.  Throughout the night, we were allowed to question the “experts” the Blue Springs lawyer, Mr. Ray Earl Thomas Jr., brought to the meeting.  He was also allowed to question many of the audience members who chose to speak out against this plant.  Only one citizen from the audience spoke in favor of the proposal; his name is Steve Gladin. 

The main concerns people expressed were quality of life issues, noise from the plant and traffic, pollution relating to the light and traffic (the plant will run 24/7), withdraws of water, compatibility with a rural, agricultural, residential neighborhood.  There is a bottling plant Coca-Cola operates less than 1 mile from this proposed site and many residents complained about this facility and used it as a precursor as to why another one would be another bad idea. 

Kim Davis, owner of Blue Springs, refused to say which corporation she was working with, citing a confidentiality agreement. 


BECOME A MEMBER and volunteer in an Environmental Organization. Click here for more ideas.
Generally speaking the citizens stuck to these issues because the water withdraw permit purchased by Blue Springs from the Suwannee River Water Management District back in 2003 was stated as a district issue and not a county issue.  OSFR maintains that local governments need to work with the Florida state water district agencies that issue consumptive use permits.  This is not the case in Florida however…a person/company can apply and pay for a permit before all construction permits are in place, giving a false impression that because the state gives them a permit that it is a given that they get the necessary permits to build from local governments. 

The night before the meeting one of our “members” (our members are people who receive our e-mail and respond or simply asked to be on our e-mail list) sent us this document…basically it says that local governments must work with state and federal agencies to plan for our future water use in terms of growth. 

(1) That the proposed use and associated development is consistent with the Gilchrist
County Comprehensive Plan, and 
complies with all required regulations and standards of
this Land Development Code and other applicable regulations.

The plan before you FAILS in all material respects to comply with State and Federal Law 


Division of Community Planning

Division Home | Statutes and Rules | D.R.I. Procedures | Comp Plan Procedures | Reports and Notices Online

Water Supply Planning

Recognizing the importance of an adequate water supply to Florida’s future, the legislature has established a process for water supply planning through Florida’s Growth Management Act (Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes) and the Water Protection and Sustainability Program (Chapter 373, Florida Statutes). Under this system, the state’s five water management districts must periodically evaluate whether adequate water supplies exist to meet the needs of their areas. If a district finds that the water supply will not be adequate, it must prepare regional water supply plans for those areas, identifying how water supply needs can be met for the next 20 years. Local governments that fall within the area of a regional water supply plan are required to ensure that adequate water supplies will be available to meet future demand, by developing 10-year water supply facilities work plans. These work plans include alternative water supplies, water reuse and conservation programs, and they are incorporated into the local governments’ comprehensive plans. In addition, all local governments – regardless of whether they are in one of these planning areas – must address water supply in their concurrency management programs.

Since July 2005, the Department has required that local governments submitting comprehensive plan amendments include data and analysis to demonstrate that water supplies are sufficient to support anticipated growth.

Water Supply Concurrency

Section 163.3180(2)(a), Florida Statutes, requires local governments to consult with water suppliers to ensure that adequate water supplies will be in place and available to serve new development no later than when the local government issues a certificate of occupancy or its functional equivalent. Local governments should update their comprehensive plans and land development regulations as soon as possible to address this water supply concurrency requirement.

Local Government 10-Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plans

The state’s water management districts have updated their regional water supply plans, which identify areas where water supply shortages are projected to occur within the next 20 years. The regional water supply plans identify alternative projects to be implemented by local governments in these areas, in order to supplement their traditional sources of water to meet projected demand.

Pursuant to Section 163.3177(6)(c), Florida Statutes, local governments that are subject to a regional water supply plan must adopt a 10-year water supply facilities work plan in their comprehensive plans (see Due Dates for Adopting 10-Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plan Amendments). These local water supply facilities work plans must identify alternative water supply projects – from among those listed in the appropriate regional water supply plan or, those proposed by the local governments themselves (Section 373.0361(7)(b), Florida Statutes) – that the local government will implement to meet existing and future development needs.

Water Supply Guidelines

The Department, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the state’s water management districts, has prepared three technical assistance documents. The first, A Guide for Local Governments in Preparing Water Supply Comprehensive Plan Amendments and Water Supply Facilities Work Plans, has been prepared to help local governments understand their water supply planning responsibilities pursuant to Chapter 163, Part II, Florida Statutes. It addresses the scope and content of required 10-year water supply facilities work plans, identifies data and analysis local governments must provide, and includes recommendations for adopting the work plan into the comprehensive plan. It also identifies sources of information available to local governments and the deadlines for adopting the required work plans and comprehensive plan amendments.

The second document, entitled Recommendations for Preparing Water Supply and Facility Data and Analysis to Support Local Comprehensive Plan Amendments, describes the water supply and facilities data and analysis that local governments should submit with proposed comprehensive plan amendments, particularly those that would change the Future Land Use Map to increase density or intensity. Examples in the guide describe the basic information and analysis that local governments should consider to support the adoption of a proposed land use change.

The third document, Agency Coordination of Comprehensive Planning and Water Supply Planning in Florida, describes and updates processes used by reviewing agencies and the Department when reviewing comprehensive plan amendments and Evaluation and Appraisal Reports related to water supply planning. The guide also provides a comprehensive list of statutory and rule requirements related to water supply planning.

Examples of Adopted Water Supply Facilities Work Plans

The Department has found the following adopted local government 10-year Water Supply Facilities Work Plans in compliance. They are available for viewing and download on our Comprehensive Plan and Plan Amendment Archive (FloridaPAPERS) web page.

  • Groveland 07-1
  • Lake Mary 07RWSP1
  • Martin County 07-2
  • Palm Coast 07RWSP1
  • Sanford 07-RWSP1
  • Seminole County 07RWSP1
  • Winter Springs 07RWSP1

Water Protection and Sustainability Program

To address the challenge of ensuring that Florida has an adequate water supply, the 2005 Legislature enacted the Water Protection and Sustainability Program (Chapter 373, Florida Statutes). The law encourages cooperation among municipalities, counties and the state’s five water management districts to protect and develop water supplies. The law requires water management districts to promote alternative water supply projects – for example, using reclaimed water and stormwater – that accommodate growth while reducing the use of traditional ground and surface water supplies, such as aquifers and lakes.

For more information about the program and to view links to regional water supply plans, please contact the water management district in your region:

Northwest Florida Water Management District

Paul Thorpe, AICP, Director
Resource Planning Section
(850) 539-5999; (800) 913-1518

This was not sent to us by Paul Thorpe, although he is the author.  It was forwarded to us by Leonard  Wheeler, and I am very grateful.  I believe this is a sound and valid arguement against building more of these plants in Florida. 
I am also very grateful for all the citizens’ participation.  Let this inspire all of us to move forward to make a difference in our future growth.  It is up to us on how we want our communities to grow  and our elected officials must be obligated simply by being elected by the citizens to carry out our will.
The next Gilchrist County vision meeting is this week Tuesday Oct. 7th @ 6 pm at the Trenton High School.  If you care about your county please attend and let the county planners know what you want in your neighborhoods.
please read…
Best Wishes,
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
board member OSFR

You might be interested in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content