LHASA — The Tibet autonomous region will tap its high quality, abundant fresh water reserve to establish a 40 billion yuan ($6.44 billion) natural drinking water industry in the next three to five years, the autonomous region’s government said at a forum on July 29.
Tibet has the most abundant water resources in China, reaching 439.4 billion cubic meters, 60 times the country’s per capita level. Its clean, uncontaminated water is also considered among the world’s best.
Authorities have evaluated water quality at 27 water sources in the autonomous region and have found 190 million cubic meters of surface drinking water, around 22 percent of which is exploitable, according to Xiang Tongliang, deputy director of Tibet’s water resources bureau.
Production of natural drinking water rose 60 percent in 2014 to 153,000 tons and authorities hope it will grow 30 times in the next three to five years, with production value reaching 40 billion yuan.
Losang Jamcan, chairman of the regional government, said at the forum that developing the natural drinking water industry in Tibet should not come at the cost of the region’s natural environment.
He added that the autonomous region should adhere to a stringent process for extracting water and mete out harsh punishment against violations and improve real-time monitor of water sources being exploited.