Ancient local people in China’s Xinjiang Province built an underground water network in arid land that for thousands of years supplied underground water for irrigation and daily use. This greatest engineering in a desert, now referred to as Karez in Turpan, saw communities joining hands to create underground channels to draw water from melted ice and snow from the Mountains, directing them to a canal.
It is a marvel that turned the arid desert area of North West China into an oasis that today produces more than 300 million cubic meters of water. The canal that runs to over 5,000 kilometers has been used to provide water for locals for both domestic purposes and agricultural irrigation, making the area China’s largest grape-growing area and gradually putting it on a path to becoming a key wine-producing hub.
Xinjiang is home to scores of diverse ethnic groups and grape farming now creates opportunities for all communities therein.
Very close to Turpan is a green and highly cultivated area called Grape Valley which also gets its waters from melted snow from the mountains. The valley assists farmers to irrigate their lands helping them produce a great variety of grapes, ranging from white, red, green, and black.
Besides being famous for its fruit production, it has also become a tourist spot. The Karez wells and the canal have boosted local people’s confidence in achieving rural revitalization by developing the local grape industry and cultural tourism.