Tremendous capsule of information here about bottled water. Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson is an encyclopedia of facts about this egregious situation in Florida where we give away our water for a one-time charge of $115 for the permit which lasts up to 20 years.
What makes this exponentially worse is that this extraction contributes to the destruction of our springs and river. Nestle falsely claims they mine water only from sustainable sources, absolutely not the case with Ginnie Springs.
Click on the link below to the audio and listen to the 55-minute interview which thoroughly covers this topic.
Thanks to Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and WMNF for sharing this inportant information about a very serious issue.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Nestlé wants to take more than one million gallons of water a day from Florida springs near Ginnie Springs and the Santa Fe River; the giant multinational corporation plans to put the water into plastic bottles and sell it at a tremendous markup.
But environmentalists oppose the move. WMNF interviewed Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, a board member with Our Santa Fe River, Inc.
Last week she co-authored an op-ed that was published in the Orlando Sentinel called “Nestle taking water from the aquifer for private profit isn’t in the public interest.”
We talked about water in Florida and who has the right to use it and for what purposes.
Nestle is thought to be interested in a water bottling plant near High Springs, Florida, under the water permit owned by Seven Springs Water, which applied to the Suwannee River Water Management District for a five-year renewal of permit.
But Malwitz-Jipson writes that it wouldn’t be “consistent with the public interest” as required by Florida Department of Environmental Protection permit rules. She warns that more water withdrawals from Santa Fe River could further harm rivers and springs. She points out that taxpayers are funding the replenishment of the aquifer already, so allowing Nestlé to remove the water and sell it back to consumers would be counterproductive.
On August 11, the Gainesville Sun editorial board recommended that the Suwannee River Water Management District staff and board should protect the Santa Fe River. They write that “Tens of millions of taxpayer dollars are already being spent in Florida on projects to recharge the aquifer and restore damage caused by excessive water withdrawals.”
The vice president of Seven Springs Water Company told the Sun it does not discuss permit applications while the process is underway. According to the Sun, when Nestlé purchased the bottling plant it wrote, “This strategically located facility will enable us to more efficiently serve current and future customers of our popular Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water and Nestle Pure Life bottled water brands.”
A 2017 Bloomberg Businessweek article has made the rounds on social media recently: Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water it Pays Nearly Nothing For. It points out that Nestlé has 100 bottled water factories in 34 countries. It continues, “The company’s former chief executive officer, Helmut Maucher, said in a 1994 interview with the New York Times: ‘Springs are like petroleum. You can always build a chocolate factory. But springs you have or you don’t have.’”
There are two Facebook event pages related to this story. One seems to be mostly tongue-in-cheek:
“Mermaids & Humans Save Ginnie Springs from Nestlé” is Saturday, August 31 at 1000 a.m. at Ginnie Springs in High Springs, FL.
“Let’s all pee in Ginnie Springs so Nestlé can’t pump the water” is October 4 at noon.
In years past, we’ve spoken to Malwitz-Jipson about her opposition to the Sabal Trail methane gas pipeline.
Here’s a link to two recent interviews WMNF’s Rob Lorei did on Florida’s springs, including one with the executive director of the Florida Springs Council.