A huge food and drink magnate has applied for pumping water in Ginnie Springs lying on Santa Fe River, Florida. Nestle wants to purchase the crystal clear water and expand its portfolio by selling bottled water. The local residents disagree, they are afraid of damaging the beautiful environment where several species of turtles nest, and signed a petition against extracting the water.
Nestlé relies on the fact that a local company called the Seven Springs once had permission to pump water from the Ginnie Springs. The company, however, pumped only 1 million liters (0.26 million gallons) in the period of highest extracting. The magnate plans to pump 4 times more water compared with the Seven Spring and therefore has the problem of obtaining the necessary permit.
Pressure from Nestle’s Side
The natural resources manager of Nestlé Waters in North America, George Ring, wrote a letter to the Suwannee district engineers saying:
“The facility is in process of adding bottling capacity and expects significant increase in production volumes equal to the requested annual average daily withdrawal volume of approximately 1.152m gallons.”
Conservationists and activists who have made a petition and online forum against this plan state that, for environmental reasons, the application should not be approved.
Environmental Changes Cannot Be Predicted
“The question is how much harm is it going to cause the spring, what kind of change is going to be made in that water system?” Director of Our Santa Fe River, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson said.
“The Santa Fe River is already in decline [and] there’s not enough water coming out of the aquifer itself to recharge these lovely, amazing springs that are iconic and culturally valued and important for natural systems and habitats. It’s impossible to withdraw millions of gallons of water and not have an impact. If you take any amount of water out of a glass you will always have less.”
Bottled water brands Pure Life and Zephyrhills come from Florida sources in the High Springs.
Back in 2017, the California State Water Resources Control Board started an investigation on the company regarding a water diversion “without a valid basis of right” from Strawberry Canyon in San Bernardino national forest for their other brand, Arrowhead.
Nestlé declares that spring water is a rapid renewable resource and promises a strong management plan that will support the long-term sustainability of water resources, in cooperation with local agents.
This does not change the fact that any interference in nature will change the area. There is always less or more impact.
Malwitz-Jipson added, the Santa Fe River is a home for 16 turtle species, whose life and reproduction depend on the flow of water and river levels.
“Few places on Earth have as many turtle species living together and about a quarter of all North American freshwater turtle species inhabit this small river system. A big threat to this diversity is habitat degradation, which will happen with reduced flows.”
Source & credit: http://www.trueactivist.com/nestle-plans-on-extracting-1-million-gallons-of-water-everyday-from-florida-natural-springs-outraging-locals-and-environmentalists-t1/,flickr.com,