Suwannee River Water Management delays Nestle permit

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 11:08 AM EDT
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HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. (WCJB) - Seven Springs Water Company will have to wait a little longer for its permit renewal application to pump water from Ginnie Springs.

The Suwannee River Water Management District Board made the decision during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, saying the decision should be made at an in-person meeting.

The staff has recommended allowing the Seven Springs Company, which sells to Nestle, to pump about 980,000 gallons of water a day - this is three times the current amount which is allowed for pumping. The new permit would last for five years.

During the meeting the water management board also made a request for Nestle to be added as a co-applicant for the permit.

Many High Springs residents have voiced their concern about the amount of water being pumped and are opposed to the permit.

“There is one issue that I don’t ever see mentioned. We have a committee process that allows water to be drawn for farmers and cattle raisers,” said High Springs resident Donald Gudbrandsen back in February. “When that water is used by them we get something back in a value added product of meat and the food we eat. With the bottled water people, we give away the water and what do we get back other than pollution? Where is our quid pro quo?”

The City Commission of High Springs has also sent the Suwannee River water management district a letter they believe reflects the concerns of their citizens.

The letter that was approved mentions how the future of High Springs is directly connected to protecting the Santa Fe River, and any damage done to the natural landscape will hurt High Springs as a well-known eco-tourism destination. But they did not directly oppose the application.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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