Residents of Chester, N.S., say they’re feeling the heat when it comes to their water needs.

Restaurant and bar owner Bob Youden says the hot and sunny weather is doing more than just drying up gardens – it’s also drying up water supplies.

He says for those living on wells rather than water supplies, it can be a real problem.

"It's not just this summer. It gets progressively worse every year,” said Youden. “The well runs dry here in spring and stays dry until late fall."

Youden says by now, most wells in the region have gone dry. It’s a sad situation, he says, for an area that depends on tourism this time of year.

"Twenty years ago when I moved to Chester, I was told that we'd had a water system in 15-to-20 years. So this spring I went back before council and said, ‘Your 20 years is up.’"

Municipal officials tell CTV News the issue has been reviewed several times, but at this point they haven't been presented with enough evidence to suggest there is enough support to invest in a water system - saying a water system for the village would cost around $22,000,000.

"Many of us have cistern backups, so that when our well goes dry – which inevitably it does – then we use the cistern,” said Erick Bickerdike, executive director of Chester Playhouse. “I have about a 2,000-gallon cistern available."

Bickerdike says when Chester Playhouse is at full crowd, it doesn't take much to go for the cistern to empty, costing an estimated extra $300 a week for water.

“Our well went dry and our cistern went dry and we had to have water ordered, so patrons were very understanding,” said Bickerdike. “We put up notices saying we're sorry, but our water has gone dry and we'll have water again tomorrow."

While many say they're in favour of a reliable water system, other business owners aren't so sure.

Lynda Flinn has owned a café in Chester for the past 14 years. She says she understands both sides of the debate, but is hoping to continue using well water.

"There's a business for sale around the corner that I know hasn't sold because they don't have good water, so it might help with some business development with a water system for sure," said Flinn. "(But) we love our well water. It tastes delicious.”

But Bob Youden says enough is enough.

"Quite frankly, to be standing here in the 21st century in a first-world country, having to justify the need for a water system to me is incomprehensible," he said.

For now, all Youden and other business owners in the area can do is rely on their weekly water delivery.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Suzette Belliveau.