"The Private Equity Firm Tapping America’s Spring Water"

"BlueTriton Brands owns Poland Spring, Arrowhead and other bottled water brands. As it tries to grow, experts worry sensitive springs, creeks and groundwater supplies from Florida to California are paying the price."

"Ginnie Springs is a true Florida oasis. Ringed by towering cypress trees, the spring-fed pools off the Santa Fe River in Gilchrist County draw thousands of visitors every year to swim and cool off in their turquoise waters.

It’s also big business. For years, a local operator has been pumping the water to sell to bottlers, despite evidence of declining flows. Years of extraction have led the water district to label the lower Santa Fe River basin as “in recovery.”

“There’s way less vegetation. The river has shrunk. You don’t see as many turtles. You don’t see as many fish,” said Ryan Smart, executive director of the Florida Springs Council, an advocacy group that fights to limit bottling. “It’s like watching a family member get sick.”"

Laura Bliss reports for Bloomberg Green December 19, 2023.

Source: Bloomberg Green, 12/20/2023