Councillor questions Charlottetown car washes

Councillor Rob Lantz wants to know how Charlottetown can approve new car washes when water consumption is at a crisis point.

Charlottetown councillor Rob Lantz wants to know how the city can approve two new car washes when the city’s water consumption is at a crisis point.

"Do we have to limit the number of new, high-volume water customers? I just don't know how much longer we can continue to add those water customers at the rate we are," Lantz told CBC News.

Recent reports on the level of water use have councillors looking for ways to have Charlottetown residents curb water use. The city says it is at 93 percent capacity right now.

Kent Paynter, who owns three car washes in Charlottetown, says his operations use less water than a resident would if he/she washed a car in the driveway.

"If you think about leaving a hose running in the driveway and you're spraying it, the amount of volume of water you're using compared to what we'd use, we're just more efficient at it."

The recent debate has one councillor warning of water restrictions if residents don’t take pressure off the system.

"If we get to 95 per cent consumption, we won't have a choice," said Water and Sewer Committee chair Eddie Rice. "It won't be a matter of a bylaw. It will be mandated -- mandated by God," Rice said. "God will say, ‘You've got no more water; you better start saving what you do have.’"