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Karez irrigation system 

Inhabitants of hot and dry South Xinjiang always had a problem with water-supply. Especially this problem occurred in Turpan and Kashgar cities that were surrounded by deserts and mountains where annual rainfall hardly accounted 20 mm and temperature could rise to 50oC. To survive in such harsh conditions 2000 years ago people made one of the greatest Chinese engineered systems - Karez irrigation system.
 
 
The system consists of underground and overland channels connected by vertical shafts. Water comes from underground channels using special shafts dug in the mountainsides. Near Turpan, water flows from Tianshan Mountains to shafts and then flows to cities and fields by underground channels. 
 
 
Extension of channels in Xinjiang totally accounts 5000 km. On this scale, this irrigation system is commensurate with the other ancient Chinese engineering masterpieces, so it is called “the Underground Chinese Great Wall”. It was hard work to create so many underground channels, especially 2000 years ago to provide survival for the Silk Road cities. Only thanks to the Karezes it became possible to plant fruits and grapes in Turpan Depression.  
 
 
Despite the fact that Karez irrigation system is already 2000 years old, it is still working. There are a lot of preserved working shafts and channels around Turpan. Inhabitants frequently sit near shafts and enjoy the coolness and freshness from the shafts, resting from tiresome heat. 
 
The Karez irrigation system is available for sightseeing from Jiaohe to Turpan. A small Karez parcel was made as a thematic park. 

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