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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Area citizens group is hoping to stopper water-bottling permits

Published June 04, 2007
A citizens group is calling for a moratorium on water-bottling permits on the springs of the Santa Fe River, saying water withdrawals threaten to drain the river and nearby wells.

While just one bottler now uses water from those springs, as many as four more projects are in the works. The five permits combined could mean more than a billion gallons pulled each year from springs feeding a three-mile stretch of river.

A flurry of new water-bottling proposals on the springs feeding the lower Santa Fe led to the group's formation. The proposals come as the water district is still more than a year away from establishing minimum flows and levels for the river and springs, which will guide future water permitting.

On the Santa Fe springs, Coca-Cola's water-bottling plant in High Springs has the only permit actively being used. The plant is permitted to withdraw an average of 1.15 million gallons a day in the Ginnie Springs area.

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