Save Our Groundwater

Collection number: MC 341 [Stored Offsite]
Size: (26 boxes) (23 cu.ft.)

About Save Our Groundwater (SOG)

Save Our Groundwater (SOG) operated from 2001-2017 in Seacoast New Hampshire. It was initially formed to block the establishment of a water bottling plant called U.S.A. Springs, Inc. in the town of Nottingham. The group was successful, and before ceasing to exist, the all-volunteer organization laid important foundations for other groundwater protections in Nottingham and neighboring towns. The collection tells the story of a determined community group successfully challenging a corrupt organization trying to strip their land of its natural resources, challenging the company in court, driving it into bankruptcy, and eventually putting the land into a perpetual conservation easement for all to enjoy.

About the Save Our Groundwater Collection

This collection consists of scrapbooks, organizational papers, geologic and environmental surveys, court papers, bankruptcy proceedings for U.S.A. Springs, Inc., maps, ephemera, public relations materials, and more. An extensive list of the contents of each box is attached to most entries below.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

This collection is housed in the Library Storage Building; access requires 48 hours notice. Please contact the Special Collections staff prior to visiting the library.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. In particular, Save Our Groundwater maintains copyright on all material written and/or published by the organization. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder Number], [Box Number], Save Our Groundwater Collection, 2001-2017, MC 341, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donated by Save Our Groundwater, 2016 (Accession #2016.6). Further accruals are possible.

Collection Arrangement

Collection is in original order as received.

Collection Contents

Box 1
Scrapbooks, June 2001-Aug. 2006

Box List

Five large scrapbooks created by founding SOG member Patricia Newhall.

Box 2
Scrapbooks, Sept. 2006-July 2013

Box List

Four large scrapbooks created by founding SOG member Patricia Newhall.

Box 3
Documents Related to the Town of Nottingham, 1986-2011

Box List

USA Springs permits, zoning, Conservation Commission, engineering analysis, planning board materials 2001-2005, Nottingham Planning Board court cases re: USA Springs 2005.

Box 4
SOG Committees: Legislative and Government Affairs, Science and Technical Committee, 2002-2008

Box List

Watershed Communities (Northwood, Barrington, etc.), Congressional hearing sponsored by US Representitive Dennis Kucinich, technical comments about the proposed bottling plant, 2003 pump test, legislation, NH candidates survey, SOG Petitions, etc.

Box 5
Memorabilia, 2001-2014

Box List

SOG 'watering can' put out at meetings for community member donations; water drop costume made and worn by Denise Hart during demonstrations on Rt. 4 in Nottingham and at the Lee Circle.

Box 6
Outreach and Communications, 2001-2002

Box List

SOG's newsletter What's Happening which later became the Groundwater Times; News releases 2001-2008; Volunteer job descriptions and applications; Coordinating Committee; Agendas & Minutes; History by year 2003-2014; Organizations which SOG relied upon (Nottingham Concerned Citizens, Save Our Shores, Neighborhood Guardians).

Box 7
NH State Agencies & Supreme Court, Federal Agencies, 2001-2008

Box List

New Hampshire governmental agencies which SOG interacted with, including the Department of Environmental Services (DES), Department of Transportation (DOT), DES Waste Management. Documents dated 2001-2005 document NH Supreme Court cases involving SOG, USA Springs, and the towns of Nottingham and Barrington. A small amount of material is from federal agencies (US Geological Survey, Enviornmental Protection Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers).

Box 8
Court Appeals, 2002-2008

Box List

Appeals filed by SOG and the Water Council in the Rockingham County Superior Court (2002) and New Hampshire Supreme Court (2005-2006), as well as appeals to decisions by the Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) filed by Nottingham and Barrington. There is extensive legal correspondence, including USA Springs, Inc.'s subpoena of SOG (2002) and USA Spring's correspondence to SOG.

Box 9
Case Document Indexes, DES documents, Groundwater Commission Report, 2001-2010

Box List

Index of case documents, a chronology of the cases, materials documenting the involvement of the Department of Environmental Services (DES) involvement in the whole issue from 2001-2005, USA Springs applications and permits and permit revocations, USA Springs webpage copy, NH Groundwater Commission Report 2010, etc.

Box 10
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) Motions, Wetlands Bureau, 2001-2009

Box List

DES and motions regarding USA Springs, Inc. permits, as well as DES Wetlands Bureau documents related to SOG and USA Springs (maps, photos, studies, correspondence, etc.).

Box 11
Multimedia and SOG Presentations, 2001-2005

Box List

Digital and print photographs, video clips, NH Public Television productions, news clips, Nottingham Planning Board meetings on audio tape and VHS from 2004-2005, audio tapes from radio shows, UNH's Women's and Water Women's Commission Panel, SOG presentations, and films about related organizations (e.g. the effort to stop the bottling plant in Poland Springs, M.E.).

Box 12
SOG Mailings and VHS Tapes, 2004-2006

Box List

Neighborhood Guardians / Nottingham Zoning Board hearing, DES Wetlands hearing, NH Supreme Court hearing (USA Springs, Inc v. SOG, Town of Barrington and Steve Conklin 2005), SOG educational materials and media contact/mailing materials. For more information on the sister organization Neighborhood Guardians, see Box 26 of this collection.

Box 13
International Water, 2006 and undated

Box List

Materials related to the international fight for the right to drinking water.

Box 14
NH Groundwater: The Big Picture, undated

Box List

Materials which place the USA Springs, Inc. fight in context in the state of NH and North America.

Box 15
SOG outreach, fundraising, board "Visioning Retreat" 2001-2014

Box List

SOG Guide for Abutters, political cartoons, outreach, board retreat, Communications and Outreach Committee minutes, events and programs.

Box 16
SOG News Clippings, 2001-2017

Box List

Mostly sorted by year, partially indexed. See attached spreadsheet.

Box 17
Related News Clippings, 2001-2017

Box List

Related water issues which occured during SOG's existance - the larger context of Nottingham's fight to save its groundwater.

Box 18
SOG Organizational Papers 2001-2003

Meeting agendas, Board of Directors folder, Membership files, Patricial Newhall's collection of organizational history for the years 2001,2002, 2003.

Box 19
USA Springs, Inc. Background & Bankruptcy Materials, 2008-2011

Box List

News, Court filings, proceedings, notes, court orders, SOG motion, and background on USA Springs.

Box 20
Celebration Breakfast, 2014

Materials from the 2014 breakfast in celebration of SOG's victory; board notes, membership, legal materials, clippings, an outreach packet, and 2 SOG teeshirts.

Box 21
USA Springs, Inc. Permit Materials

Large Groundwater Withdrawel Permit application materials

Box 22
4th International World Water Forum Poster, 2006

Box List

Poster from the People's Forum in Defense of Water, Mexico City, Mexico.

Box 23
Strafford Co. Municipal Map; Newspaper Clipping 2003

Strafford County municipal map; Foster's Daily Democrat front page article "State Says NO to Water Bottling Plant" (8/13/2003)

Box 24
Watershed Maps, undated

Barrington Watersheds; Oyster River and Bellamy River Watersheds.

Box 25
Memoribilia & Educational Materials, 2001-2006 and undated

Box List

Oversized posters, news clippings, signs, and maps: Nottingham tax maps, original Save Our Groundwater sign, watershed maps, site maps, rally signs, driveway support signs, UN water posters, etc.

Box 26
SOG Science Committee; Neighborhood Guardians, 2001-2007

Box List

SOG's Science Committee was headed by geologist Peter Thompson. These files include hearings on baseline water quality, wetlands impact, site plan review, radient reports, notes, correspondence, and other materials related to the impact of physical withdrawel of groundwater at the site.

Neighborhood Guardians was a second group formed to work alongside Save Our Groundwater in their efforts to defeat USA Springs, Inc. Thelma Thompson served as secretary for NG. Her files contain organizational documents for NG, membership, petitions, agendas, minutes, correspondence, court appeal information, and appeals against various permits issued to USA Springs.

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Legal Papers
Newspapers & Publications
Photographs, Slides & Negatives