Wakulla County's Bottled Water Issue Moves on to Another Committee

Monday evening, Wakulla County commissioners did not vote on the future of a water bottling venture. The next move is to send the issue to a "Water Committee" made up of eleven members who will meet in January. But some feel this issue really goes beyond the county's power.

"Wakulla County cannot do anything about it anyway. That is strictly for the state of Florida. They control all of the water in the state and that's how it should be."

"Of course we are hopeful. We are going ahead because we already have a set of permits. So we're going ahead with the project. And of course we're hopeful the county won't stop us one way or another."

Attorney Davis represents Dan and Ruth High, the Wakulla County couple wanting to pump 340,000 gallons of water from their property. In some ways, they're challenging a resolution passed by commissioners in 2003, opposing the movement of water from the county.

"If you give one person permission, then how do you stop the next person and the next person, and then we could be in trouble. We're already seven inches behind in our water for the year."

"Our commercial fisheries, our sports fisheries are all dependent upon abundant water supply in this county. It's what supports our marshes and estuaries."

With many Wakulla County residents fearing the water bottling venture will have environmental consequences, others say if approved, it could mean good news for the county's tax base.

The Water Committee will be made up of one chairperson, and 10 other members. Each county commissioner will select two members each, excluding the chairperson.