Victoria water restrictions cost jobs, hurt
U.S. Water News Online
VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Hundreds of jobs have been
lost and some businesses are barely hanging on after more than six
months of the most severe water restrictions ever imposed in the
Particularly hard hit were the pool and hot tub industry, which
claims to conserve and recycle water, as well as power washers,
landscapers, lawn maintenance firms, and irrigation sales and service
The restrictions remain in effect indefinitely, or at least after
the Sooke reservoir starts to fill.
At Beachcomber Home Leisure, business has been cut in half, owner
Bob Borton said. Borton, who would normally have hired nine full-time
summer employees, is down to three family members and not all are
getting full-time work.
``The community itself has lost, I would say, between $15 million
to $20 million (Canadian) just in our industry alone,'' he said.
Barry Ross, owner of High Clean Industries for 18 years, said his
power-washing business is down 45 percent.
Daniel Rondeau, a University of Victoria resource economist, said
most complaints about the restrictions focus on arbitrary provisions.
``You can't do your lawn, but you can do your car,'' Rondeau said.
``You can't clean your driveway, but you can clean your cars.''
Ross said the Capital Regional District should conduct an economic
impact study of the restrictions and perhaps reconsider some
provisions, including bans on power washing and on filling spas and
Vintage Hot Tubs owner Grant Gislason said the pool-filling ban is
unreasonable because most hot-tub users only fill up twice a year and
the drained water can be used to irrigate bushes and shrubs.
The district let residents water shrubs and bushes from a hose for
hours on end, day after day, Gislason complained.
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