According to an article by Ivan Penn, Nestle lucked out when the State of Florida continued a permit allowing the company to take up to 1.47 million gallons of water per day from Madison Blue Springs until 2018. 

Nestle purchased the land near Madison Blue Springs with an existing bottling permit and will pay no fees or taxes for the water, except for a $230 permit.  The Suwanee River Water Management District staff recommended lowering the permit limit to 400,000 gallons per day.  Due to drought conditions, the flow from the springs had dropped from 55 to 34 million gallons per day. 

But Nestle had the support of Florida’s economic development entity, Enterprise Florida, Inc.–based on Nestle’s promise to create 300 jobs.

Nestle is an eco-friendly company.  And bottled water is certainly a good, healthy product.  But is it right for a company to make big bucks while using millions of gallons of water–when local citizens are under water restrictions and paying ever higher rates?   

Economic development is important, especially in this area of the state.  But water supply is getting to be a critical problem.