Faced with a severe drought, Vernon, B.C., is implementing its most drastic water restrictions ever, meaning that residents are forbidden from cooling off in their backyard pools.

Vernon's reservoirs are currently at their lowest level ever, according to the water utility.

Besides restrictions against filled pools, fountains and ponds, Vernon residents are also prohibited from cleaning their cars or driveways for any reason besides safety, and lawn and garden watering times have been restricted.

For a downloadable list of the anti-drought measures, click here.

Al Cotsworth of the Greater Vernon Water Utility told CTV News that the city has few options for dealing with the water shortage.

"If we use our water now, we won't have it to brush our teeth or flush our toilet in the fall," he said.

But for pool owners, the reaction has gone from disbelief to serious concern.

"If I didn't open my pool or get the water circulating, I mean next year I most likely would have to replace all the water in my pool, and I would probably have to replace my liner, which would be really expensive," Curtis Andreotti told CTV News.

People in the pool business are wondering if concern over the water supply has sent someone off the deep end.

"If I was to say this is a knee-jerk reaction by a bunch of jerks, would that be the wrong thing to say?" asked Dennis Thomson of Backyard Pleasures in Vernon.

Business owners say pool users are being unfairly targeted, and argue that pools actually require less water.

Lee Kazmar of Pools, Ponds and Waterscapes compared the water used in a pool to the water used to care for a lawn.

"Per square foot, a pool and its deck area use up much less water than the lawn it's replaced," he said.

He added that the restrictions on pool use have already taken a bite out of his business, and cost jobs in the region.

"We've already lost a lot of money in sales. My conversation with other pool builders in Vernon -- we're already in excess of a million dollars in lost sales."

Kazmar plans to represent backyard pool and hot tub owners at a meeting of the local regional district next week.

Meanwhile, the water utility is suggesting that it may use a previously planned photographic fly-over of the city to gather information about violators from the air.