EAST MONTPELIER, Vermont – The piece of land New York businessman Daniel Antonovich owns is not far from Montpelier’s spring, where freshwater bubbles up from what seems like an eternal supply. It comes as no surprise, then, that he plans to open a bottling operation — withdrawing 250,000 gallons per day.
But in Vermont, where two-thirds of the population depends on wells for their water, his neighbors replace surprise with skepticism. They worry how the business might affect their supply long term, reports the New York Times.
In an age when the plentiful resource is no longer available in infinite supply, states from coast to coast are responding to the impending crisis. The Great Lakes Compact is on its way through Congress. States like California and Colorado are proposing revised legislation that would regulate water use. And Vermont?
Despite a rain-drenched summer, its residents are thinking ahead. The state recently passed a measure that declares water a commonly owned resource. In three years, business ventures planning to pump more than 57,600 gallons daily will require a permit, the Times reports.
According to Jon Groveman, the general counsel of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, “It’s no longer an under-the-radar issue. There is now a sense that groundwater is finite and needs to be protected.”
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Source: The New York Times