Hot weather and a subsequent shortage in Twillingate's water supply has caused havoc for dozens of workers at the community's fish processing plant.


Twillingate Mayor Gord Noseworthy says the town has no choice but to force the shrimp plant to conserve water. (CBC)

The Notre Dame Seafoods plant has been working around the clock processing shrimp, but the water shortage will mean layoffs for at least two thirds of the workforce.

Twillingate's water supply is so low the town has been forced to ask the shrimp plant to conserve what it uses.

"I'm here 44 years [and] this is the longest, driest summer I've seen since I've been here," Mayor Gord Noseworthy told CBC News.

Where 110 people would normally be working at the plant, the workforce will be sharply reduced to about 30 until water levels return to normal. Only one of the three regular shifts will get work next week.

Managers with Notre Dame Seafoods were not available to comment.

Plant worker John Hynes said the loss of that much collective income will have a significant impact on the regional economy, and will hit many families hard.

"The town better realize that if there's no money being made by 110 workers, then they can't spend what they haven't got," Hynes said.

While the town would like to see the shrimp plant return to full operation, Noseworthy says there are other priorities as well.

"We cannot get in a spot where this community is going to run out of water. It's just not going to happen," he said.

"You can't have a community out of water with a hospital and a fire department and, well, you'd be back to slop pails, and you're not going at that."