RT carried a surprisingly long objection to Nestlé’s water withdrawals from Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, interviewed via skype from London on Wednesday, posted Thursday.
Remember to send your comment to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) asking them to deny Nestlé’s request to withdraw more water from the Santa Fe River at Ginnie Springs.
RT, YouTube, 29 August 2019, Nestle seeks to extract millions of liters of water from Florida’s ‘fragile’ Santa Fe river,
The lead-in was surprisingly accurate about the problem with overpumping of water lowering the level of the Santa Fe River.
They showed a background video of the river and Ginnie Springs, with a prominent attribution center-screen, Courtesy: GinnieSpringsOutdoors.com.
They even brought in a Canadian petition to “Stop Nestle fromm stealing water from indigenous communities.”
The obligatory boilerplate quote from Nestlé says they “adhere to all relevant regulatory and state standards.” Well, if they do, those standards need to be changed.
But Florida state law does provide the statutory authority for the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) to deny or even to revoke water withdrawal permits.
The Nestlé statement also says “Our business depends on the quality and sustainability of the water we are collecting.” So why is Nestlé asking for additional water extraction if what they’ve already got is sustainable?
The reporter who contacted me asked for how to spell my name and title, but apparently the caption writer didn’t notice that.
They did include a surprisingly long bit of what I said:
I think that the Santa Fe River already has problems with too little water, and the last thing it needs is Nestlé drawing more water out and selling it back to us in plastic bottles that people wil then have to clean up on the rivers and in springs.
I have an exhibit right here. This is a Nestlé bottle of water.
They suck up the water out of our springs. That’s probably hard to read, but it says on there, “BLUE SPRINGS, MADISON COUNTY, FL”. That’s on the Withlacoochee River, which is in our basin.
They paid, if I recall correctly, the grand sum of 128 dollars, a few decades ago. And that’s all they paid.
[Update 2019-08-31: Apparently it was $230. Yes, Nestlé does annually pay SRWMD “$70,000 for monitoring of the Withlacoochee River and Madison Blue Spring.” But that’s not a fee in the permit, and it’s peanuts compared to the profit Nestlé must be making and the effects on our waters.]
And they get to take a huge amount of water and put it in bottles like this, which people throw away on the river.
So in addition to the pollution, it’s also causing the aquifer level to continue going down. Which is a bad thing, because we need that water for drinking, for agriculture, for industry.
We don’t really need it to be making profit for a Swiss company for something that nobody actually needs.
This is what the background in the skype feed looked like, before they cropped it. I guess their talking head idea worked pretty well, especially with the background videos and pictures of river, springs, plastic bottles they ran.
Yes, YouTube, we know “RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government.”. I’ll talk to most any reporter who asks. If they do their story badly, I may not talk to them again. This one I thought did OK. What do you think?
You can go ahead and send your comment to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) asking them to deny Nestlé’s request to withdraw more water from the Santa Fe River at Ginnie Springs.
While you’re at it, you can ask SRWMD to revisit Nestlé’s permit to withdraw water from the Withlacoochee River at Madison Blue Spring. SRWMD does have the statutory authority to do that.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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