CHINA / Regional

Tibet mineral water to be resource tapped following railway
Updated: 2006-07-24 14:06

Mineral water from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is likely to become the first resource commercially tapped following the recent opening of the altiplano railway.

A group of scientists and experts made the conclusion after researching the region's development prospects, which have been significantly increased by the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

"Development of Tibet's mineral water resources will not only contribute to cargo transportation on the railway, it will also increase the value of local mineral water resources," said Dorji, a Tibetan academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who made the suggestion to the geological and mineral exploitation bureau of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The bureau has located over 100 drinking water springs with the largest source found in Damxung County, which can produce 3,000 tons of drinking water a day.

The daily output of the lake in Damxung could fill 50 train cars or two trains, said Lu Yan, a senior engineer with the bureau.

"Bottling the Damxung mineral water could generate an annual output value of one billion yuan (125 million U.S. dollars)," said Lu.

Dubbed Asia's Water Tower, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the source region for the major rivers in China and is home to the largest lake resources in China.

The 1,956-kilometer-long Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the first railway connecting the Tibet Autonomous Region with other parts of China, reduces the transport costs of exploring resources in the virgin land.