Water plan stalls in Columbia County

Mcore3water row In: Water plan stalls in Columbia County | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

A Department of Transportation toll road meeting shows a lot of plastic going into the soil.  Kudos to Kent Wimmer for helping save the environment — shame on all the others.  Photo by Jim Tatum


OSFR is glad to see the no action result by Columbia County.  We were represented at the deliberation meetings by board members Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Kristin Rubin and we thank them for their work and representation.

The Seven Springs Water Company’s  (which sells their free water to Nestle) permit renewal application has caused over 19,000 letters of opposition to arrive at the Suwannee River Water Management District.  This is a tremendous showing of public interest —  over nineteen thousand people want to keep our springs and river safe from an unnecessary drawdown of more water from an already imperiled river system.

And they are 19,000 people who feel strongly enough about this to write a letter.

This misuse of a public resource is further aggravated by an enormous amount of plastic bottles of which most will go into landfills, roadside ditches  or the Santa Fe River.

It is not too late to voice your opinion on the Seven Springs/Nestle permit, you can send your letter to the Executive Director Hugh Thomas here:

The Gainesville Sun does not provide a link to this article.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum

Water plan stalls in Columbia County

Cindy Swirko Gainesville Sun USA TODAY NETWORK

A proposal by a water bottler to withdraw nearly 2.9 million gallons a day out of the Floridan aquifer in Lake City is effectively dead because the Columbia County Commission declined to vote on the proposal.

Niagara, a California-based bottler, sought a three-party agreement with the county and Lake City to build and get permitting for a bottling plant at an industrial park.

The city was not interested and county officials said the county would not be able to meet the terms of the proposal without the city, particularly a guarantee that Niagara got the water it sought.

“Based on what was presented … we felt at this period of time we cannot provide service,” interim County Manager David Kraus said  at a meeting last week.

Niagara proposed starting its operation with 650,000 gallons a day to be provided by Lake City. Pumping would be ramped up to nearly 2.9 million gallons a day providing the county got a consumptive use permit from the Suwannee River Water Management District….

Niagara’s proposal was the latest from a bottler seeking to take — or boost the amount it already gets — from Florida’s aquifer.

Seven Springs Water Co., associated with ownership of the Ginnie Springs Outdoors park near High Springs, has filed for permitting from the Suwannee River Water Management District to expand the water it draws for the Nestle Waters plant adjacent to the park.

Nestle plans to add additional bottling lines there and indicated it may truck water from Ginnie Springs to its bottling operation at Blue Springs in Madison County.

That permit is the subject of a complaint by Seven Springs with the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings while a decision on the permit is pending with SRWMD.

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