Take Action for Water!
By Shirley Lasseter
To be delivered to:
St. John's Water Management and Governor Rick Scott
The fact is our springs are not just being stressed by an historic drought. The groundwater aquifer that feeds these springs is being pumped at the highest rate in recorded history. And to add "insult to injury" these springs are being exposed to the highest groundwater nitrate nitrogen contamination ever observed.
These two stresses are creating a "perfect storm" of severe impacts to our precious springs that is appalling to witness..please support Ocala's Springs say "NO" to Adena Springs Ranch consumptive use permit.
The St. Johns River Water Management District received a consumptive use permit (CUP) application for the Adena Springs Ranch in Marion County. The permit application, which District staff are currently reviewing, seeks to withdraw 13.267 million gallons of water per day (mgd) for agricultural, commercial, industrial and livestock uses.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is in the early stages of evaluating permit applications submitted by Adena Springs Ranch. The 13.2 million gallons of water this massive industrial cattle operation wants to draw from the aquifer near Silver Springs is just about the same as the water use for all of the existing development in Ocala.
Why it's a problem & why you should care:
The application by Adena Springs Ranch to use this water for a cattle finishing operation and slaughterhouse will be the end of Florida's most iconic free flowing spring.
In addition, the cattle operation will involve intense fertilization of pastures, and this, plus the manure from many thousands of cattle will allow even more polluting nitrates to infiltrate into the aquifer and flow underground to Silver Springs.
A steep decline in springflow began in the 1980s. By 2011, flow had fallen to only half the historic average. By April 1, 2012, the flow in Silver Springs was at the lowest volume ever recorded – only 282 Cubic Feet Per Second – only 37% of the average historic flow. In the last 30 years, rainfall has declined by 15 percent while the spring flow has dropped by 40 percent.
Adena Springs Ranch wants 13+ million gallons/day of water to irrigate 10,000 acres of pasture to feed 30,000 cows. That’s more water usage than the entire City of Ocala! Right out of the aquifer that feeds iconic Silver Springs that is already suffering
a 50% reduction in average flow—this project will reduce it even more. Manure and urine will pollute drinking water supplies and runoff will end up in Silver Springs and the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers, both designated Outstanding Florida Waterways.
In a presentation to the Alachua County commission, Robert Knight, the founder and director of the H.T. Odum Florida Springs Institute, a Gainesville-based nonprofit organization, said the springs that feed into the Santa Fe River, including Poe and Ginnie springs, have drained at much steeper rates than the decrease in rainfall would warrant. That, Knight said, meant the culprit was human pumping.
Voice your opposition to the super consumption request and help protect our drinking water, springs and rivers!