A Canadian ranch owner is celebrating after getting state approval to pump almost 1.5 million gallons a day from Silver Springs in central Florida into his ranch.
The St. Johns Water Management District on Tuesday approved the permit sought by Sleepy Creek Lands. The ranch is owned by Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach.
A broad coalition of environmentalist had opposed the permit.
The decision by the water management district follows a state administrative hearing last year in which a judge sided with the ranch.
Environmentalist say Silver Springs is already ailing because of heavy pumping of the Florida Aquifer by municipalities and growers.
District officials said it would reject a second permit sought by the ranch.