Nearly 1,000 reservoirs in Guangdong dry up
Latest statistics from Guangdong's anti-drought authority said the province's 1,000 small reservoirs had dried up.
The province recorded only 13.9 millimeters of rain in January, 70 percent less than the same period last year.
The water volume in the province's 30 large reservoirs had reduced to 4 billion cubic meters Jan. 31 from 4.5 billion cubic meters at the beginning of the month.
Experts say the drought is worsening with less rainfall expected in February.
The province has been experiencing a serious drought since 2002.
Lawmakers had proposed legislation to better protect drinking water sources in the province at the Third Session of the 10th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress, which concluded last week.
The environmental and resources protection committee of the congress proposed a draft to guard against a continual decline in water quality.
Only 72 per cent of the province's natural drinking water meets national standards.
The prolonged drought, which has caused salinity due to the lowering of river levels and marine tide inflows, was also blamed.
"Guangdong is facing a shortage of drinking water in terms of quality and people are very concerned about the safety of the water they are drinking," said Yao Bentang, a deputy to the provincial people's congress.
He was among the 152 congress deputies who came up with 13 related motions, which were condensed by the commission into the final proposal.
The excessive use of ground water by urban residents in the city of Zhanjiang has resulted in cave-ins.
"Legislation should be introduced as soon as possible to protect the water sources," Yao said.