How Metro Vancouver water restrictions affect local businesses

WATCH: The prolonged B.C. drought is sucking some businesses dry, but some retailers are reaping the rewards.

Drought conditions are having an impact on many Metro Vancouver businesses with some struggling under Stage 3 water restrictions and others finding a way to thrive.

Landscapers are having a tough go. Simon Davies of Vancouver’s English Lawns says summer is not normally their busiest time of year, but this year has been particularly slow since they can’t install new lawns due to current water restrictions that forbid lawn watering.

“It’s been a very slow summer for us, since the water restrictions have gone in,” he said. “We’ve probably lost about half of our workforce…and running probably at about a 30 per cent workload as opposed to normal.”

“We really specialize in grass installation so most of our work came to a screeching halt.”

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However, business is good for many car washes, which can operate under the current Stage 3 water restrictions because they typically use recycled water and are on timers. Splashes, a South Surrey car wash, says the number of vehicles driving through has increased by a third now that washing cars at home is not allowed.

Car wash owners are nervous, however, that things don’t get worse. If Stage 4 restrictions were to be implemented, they would be forced to shut down.

“It’s been an interesting year,” said Ryan Oliver of Splashes. “So far it’s been good for our business. Of course, we’ve never experienced a stretch of sun like this before. We hope we don’t go to Stage 4, so as much as a car wash usually doesn’t pray for rain, we are.”

Metro Vancouver says Stage 3 water restrictions will remain in place for at least several more weeks if the public is able to use less than 1.2 billion litres of water per day.

-With files from Jennifer Palma