Nestlé Battling Florida Residents For Rights to 1.5 Million Gallons of Water Per Day
Seven Springs Water Co., one of Nestlé’s biggest water suppliers, wants Florida’s Suwannee River Water Management District to approve a permit that allows the company to extract 1.2 million gallons of water daily. But the people of Ginnie Springs are refusing to play ball, which is currently contributing to a standoff between citizens and mega-corporation.
The exact source of Seven Springs Water Co.’s water extraction are wells located in Ginnie Springs’ wells. Other portions will be pumped from the Sante Fe River which is located in Gilchrist County.
Residents are refusing to simply lie down and turn over their water supply control to the company. Worse more, the company will reportedly only pay $115 for the permit fee. The Florida Water Resources Act doesn’t set prices on water supplies and apparently, the state isn’t intervening to ramp up permit prices. Residents want the permit denied.
“Any withdrawals at this point hurt the case to recover the river,” the group’s president, Mike Roth, told the Independent Florida Alligator. “It’s just basically tampering with nature in a way that’s kind of dangerous.”
The support for declining Seven Springs Water’s permit isn’t just found with residents, but also with Adrian Hayes-Santos, the Gainesville City Commissioner. His position on the Gainesville Alachua County Water Policy Committee certainly lends him clout in regards to the issue.
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“I would hope that there are ways to prevent them from bottling up the water,” Hayes-Santos told the Gainesville Sun. “But with the Republican-controlled state legislature, they have made it very easy for companies to take advantage of our natural resources.”
A new Change.org petition has collected nearly 36,000 signatures requesting the permit be denied.
So far, the petition’s process to approval remains unobstructed, with the exception of a handful of informational needs by the district.
The district is requesting a market analysis to justify the 1.1 million daily gallons of water. They also want access to a water budget, an evaluation on the potential wetlands impacts, and assurance that when Nestle pulls out, it won’t result in environmental issues such as unstable water levels.
Nestle says that the current proposed plan will result in a mere .05 percent of the total daily volume of water.
A decision on the permit’s fate is set for as early as November.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.