Nestlé plans to pump more than 1 million gallons of water from one of Florida’s most beautiful natural springs for bottling, according to a news report.
Nestlé corporation, which is one of the biggest producers of bottled water on the planet, has requested a permit to pump a maximum of 1.152 million gallons of water a day from their plant at Ginnie Springs. If they're granted the permit, they will pay nothing to the water that they will withdraw from one of the most beautiful natural springs in Florida.
“We are evolving our operations to better support the future needs of our business and position the company for long-term success,” said Alex Gregorian, a Nestlé Waters executive vice president, in a written statement at the time of the purchase of the Ginnie Springs plant in January. “This strategically located facility will enable us to more efficiently serve current and future customers of our popular Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life bottled water brands. We look forward to being a part of the High Springs community.”
The plant, which has been in operation since 1998, is owned by Seven Springs Water Co. They sell the water to Nestlé. Bottled water is one of the biggest sources of pollution, and the unfettered access to Florida's water sources has many local residents concerned.
“Our Santa Fe River is very concerned about bottling any drops of water out of the Santa Fe basin,” Marrillee Malwitz-Jipson said. Malwitz-Jipson is the director of Our Santa Fe River, a nonprofit whose goal is to protect the Santa Fe River Watershed. “What is their need, and how can they justify extracting that amount of water when it’s never been done before?”
Shannon Blankinship, the advocacy director for the St. Johns Riverkeeper, said, “Any sort of new proposal to withdraw water from the aquifer directly … that’s just a net withdrawal from our entire system that we’re not going to see come back.
“Water’s here, it’s always moving, but the ability to recharge, to infiltrate and continue here in the state of Florida, that’s lost when the water bottle goes somewhere else.”