A pilot scheme to limit the amount of water that businesses can use is being planned by the Guangdong provincial government to save resources and limit the amount of waste water.
The plan was contained in a document on water usage limits, written by the Guangdong government's Water Resources Department, Development and Reform Commission and Economic and Trade Commission.
The water plan was primarily aimed at the industrial and construction sectors and would not affect regular citizens, according to a report in the Guangzhou-based Information Times.
Guangdong authorities recently stopped receiving public opinion on the document and would start implementing the policy on a trial basis in the near future.
'Even though there is a rich supply of water in Guangdong, the average amount of water available for each person is only a quarter of the world's average,' the newspaper quoted provincial government officials as saying.
'This policy could benefit various industries by saving water, increasing the level of water being reused and reducing waste water. It could be of historic significance to the province's overall economic development.'
The document took more than two years to complete, using sample surveys from various industries and households in urban areas.
It listed the water-usage quota for the 133 industries and 336 industrial products in the province.
The study also found that average water use per person in Guangzhou amounted to 210 litres a day.
After the trial was complete, all industrial, agricultural, public service and personal water use in urban areas would implement a quota system, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong had not been informed about the pilot scheme, but he said that his office would monitor its progress and how it might affect Hong Kong businesses operating in the province.
There are more than 80,000 businesses in Guangdong owned by Hong Kong residents.