Will new Suwannee River Water Management District board member impact Nestle’s water application?

Florida springs and fresh water
Devil Spring In Ginnie Springs. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (Nov. 2012).

The water management district that will decide on whether Nestlé and its partner will get a permit to take a million gallons of water a day from a north Florida spring system will soon have a new board member.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Harry Smith to the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board.

The SRWMD board makes decisions on many water issues in North Central Florida, including a permit renewal application by Seven Springs Water Company to withdraw water from springs connected to the Santa Fe River so that Nestlé can bottle the water for sale on supermarket shelves.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, “Smith, of Lake City, is the Vice President of Feed Operations for Central States Enterprises. An avid outdoorsman, his work revolves around businesses that need water to operate and grow. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.”

The governor’s office points out that Smith’s appointment has to be confirmed by the Florida Senate.

Also on Tuesday, Governor DeSantis appointed four other people to water management districts:

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Rob Bradley and Janet Price to the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board.

Rob Bradley
Bradley, of Fleming Island, is an attorney and managing partner with Bradley, Garrison and Komando, P.A. He has served his community as a State Senator for Florida’s 5th District since 2012, the last three years as Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations. As Chairman, he helped secure more than $1.25 billion for Florida’s environment and water resources. He earned a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.

Janet Price
Price, of Fernandina Beach, is a senior manager of environmental affairs with Rayonier Inc., a global land resources company. She has served as chairperson of the Water and Aquatic Biology Committee of the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and served on the council’s Forestry and Environmental Technical Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Alabama and her master’s degree in biology from the University of Alabama.


Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Kellie Ralston and Nicholas “Nick” Patronis to the Northwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board.

Kellie Ralston
Ralston, of Tallahassee, is the Southeast Fisheries Policy Director for the American Sportfishing Association. She has served as a fisheries management analyst for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and currently serves on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Ad Hoc Red Snapper Private Angler Advisory Panel. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Florida State University.

Nicholas “Nick” Patronis
Patronis, of Panama City Beach, is an owner of Captain Anderson’s Restaurant and Waterfront Market. He has served his community as a member of the Life Management Center of Northwest Florida Board of Directors, the Florida Restaurant Association, and the National Restaurant Association. Patronis attended Gulf Coast Community College.


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