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Friday, May 30, 2008

Nelson wades into watery woes

Published May 29, 2008
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson had a front seat Wednesday to North Florida's version of the water wars.

Nelson, a Democrat, started the day by meeting environmental advocates who urged him to stop water-bottling plants and growing Florida communities farther south from tapping the north's water.

He ended with a boat trip launched from Fanning Springs - where the depleted flow of the former first-magnitude spring has been linked to excessive groundwater pumping.

But Florida Geological Survey geologist Tom Greenhalgh said measurements since 1997 show the spring has averaged about 71 cubic feet per second. He said dry weather conditions are a major factor, but a contributing reason is groundwater pumping in the area that is permitted to average 60 million gallons pumped per day.

"I don't perceive Fanning ever being first-magnitude again," Greenhalgh said

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