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CRYSTAL RIVER — City officials are not too enthused about a permit the water district granted for the withdrawal of ground water from a property near downtown.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District issued a 10-year water use permit July 24 to Heatherwood Investments LLC of Crystal River and Mistletoe LLC of Ocala to withdraw up to 76,700 gallons per day. Average daily use during the highest water-use month or peak month cannot exceed 153,400. The property was an old lumber yard at 142 N.E. 11th St., said City Manager Andy Houston.
The companies intend to transport the water for sale to a bottling company, Consolidated Water Group LLC in Ocala, according to the water district.
“We have respect for the decisions of another agency, but with the water table being what it is, we would have preferred that it didn’t happen,” Houston said.
He said the issue is sort of like a mineral rights issue. The company owns the property and went through the proper process to obtain a permit to withdraw the water.
District spokeswoman Robyn Felix said the water district followed all the legal and environmental requirements necessary before granting the request.
“And, there will be less than a tenth of a foot draw down,” Felix said.
She said before a permit is granted, the following criteria have to be met:
+ The applicant must show demand, which Felix said these companies met by showing they are going to sell to a bottling company.
+ The applicant must ensure withdrawal will not harm the water resources or the related environment. Felix said studies were conducted which have shown there will be no damage to the environment and water resources with less than a tenth of a foot draw down.
+ The applicant must ensure the withdrawal will not negatively impact neighbors. Felix said that is not an issue because neighbors are on city water.
TYPES OF WATER USE PERMITS
The Southwest Florida Water Management District issues three types of WUPs based primarily on the amount of water needed for a year.
Individual: 500,000 gallons per day or more (requires governing board approval).
General: 100,000 gpd or more, but less than 500,000 gpd (including some uses less than 100,000 gpd).
Small general: Most uses less than 100,000 gpd.