The health of many of Florida's springs is in serious decline due to encroaching development, pollution, excessive groundwater withdrawals, and neglect.
Even many of our most famous and popular springs have not been spared from serious degradation. For instance, the iconic Silver Springs, a National Natural Landmark, has experienced dramatic declines in flow and increases in nitrate levels in recent years.
Now, a proposed cattle operation and slaughterhouse located within its springshed could cause further harm to Silver Springs.
In response to the significant water quality and supply problems throughout Florida, the Florida Conservation Coalition hosted "Speak Up for Silver Springs and Florida's Waters."
The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) and its partners - Silver Springs Alliance, Silver River Museum, and Marion County Springs Festival - organized this event to celebrate our outstanding water resources, to educate the public and policymakers about the significant water quality and supply challenges we are facing, and to advocate for the protection and restoration of Florida’s imperiled waterways.
If weren't able to attend, watch Senator Bob Graham's rousing speech.
Adena Springs Ranch is seeking a permit to withdraw approximately 5.3 million gallons of water a day (MGD) from the aquifer for a cattle and slaughterhouse operation that would be located within the springshed of Silver Springs.
The applicant originally had plans to apply for 27 million gallons of water a day (mgd) and then reduced its request to 13.267 mgd. On December 14, 2012, Adena Springs Ranch amended its permit application to 5.3 mgd.
Despite the amended request, we are already withdrawing water from the aquifer at a rate that is unsustainable. The health of Silver Springs is already in serious decline, and this massive cattle operation will potentially cause further harm.
On Jan. 11, 2013, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) determined that additional technical information is needed regarding the Adena Springs Ranch consumptive use permit application. District staff sent a Request for Additional Information (RAI) letter to the applicant. Adena Springs Ranch was given until May 11, 2013, to respond to the RAI or to request an extension.
On April 18th, Adena Springs Ranch responded to the request with additional information. Now, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) staff have until May 18th to determine if the application is complete and meets all of the District's criteria.
Join us in asking the SJRWMD to deny this permit and protect our water resources. Together we can save our aquifer and our springs!
Click here to learn more about this permit and to submit your comments to the District.