Adena Springs Ranch to reduce water request by 60%
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.
Representatives of Adena Springs Ranch announced Wednesday night that they will reduce the water they need for their sprawling cattle ranch from 13.2 million gallons a day to 5.3 million gallons.
During a community meeting at the Church @ the Springs in Ocala, Adena Springs spokesmen said they were modifying their plans in a way that would allow them to use 60 percent less water to irrigate some 15,000 acres of pasture that will nourish up to 30,000 head of grass-fed cattle around Fort McCoy.
The announcement comes as Adena is locked in a pitched battle with environmentalists over the amount of water that will be pumped for the project.
Environmentalists from throughout Florida maintain that pumping millions of gallons of water a day will harm the aquifer and, ultimately, Silver Springs, which is a dozen miles south of the ranch.
Adena's environmental consultants contend, however, that the environmental impacts of the irrigation will be negligible. On Wednesday, they estimated that the project might reduce the water flowing from the springs by 1 to 2 percent, which they called "acceptable."
The ranch has, for some, come to symbolize the statewide debate between pro-growth forces and those who fear growth is rapidly destroying Florida's natural resources.
Whether Wednesday's announcement will neutralize the criticism from Adena opponents is unknown.
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