Marianna- Bascom resident Dee Helton said she was a ‘water worrier.’
So when she got wind of Sturgeon Aqua Farm's request to withdraw over 7 million gallons of water a day from the Floridan aquifer, Helton wasn’t happy.
"I was furious! I went through the ceiling! I'm not against anyone making a living, that’s the American way” she said. But, to withdraw 7.5 million gallons of water a day? Our farmers don’t draw this. And, for a fish farm to come in and draw this per day- 365 days a year? No. I have a problem with it."
Helton was in good company.
"It’s not really a fish farm, its caviar, and that puts a different light on it. It's sort of like if someone’s producing tractors or they're producing Mercedes" local, Tim Trott said.
About trot 20 years ago, Trott bought lake front property on Silver Lake
"Now it's ‘lake near front’” he said. “The lake is way far away. The lake was at the level of the bottom of the dock, and now, that dock, which is 80 feet long, is totally out of water. Not a drop under it. It's basically an 80 foot picnic shelter if I had a picnic table under there."
"Most people don’t understand volume until you give them some kind of a scale” Cave Adventures Dive Shop Owner, Edd Sorenson explained. “From what I understand, what they're asking for is [the equivalent of 25 or 30 more of the Ice River water bottling plants that came to Jackson County a few years ago. Residents were up in arms and really didn't’t want it."
But, Northwest Florida Water Management District Spokesperson, Lauren Engel said Sturgeon Aqua Farms, LLC may not need to draw as much water as they had originally planned.
"They let us know yesterday they would be modifying they're request” she said. So, it would be to authorize their original amount, which was authorized in early 2012. The only change would be for an additional well.”
Some we're relieved by the news; others said they'd believe it when they saw it... under their dock.
Representatives from sturgeon aqua farms were unavailable for comment.