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Turpan Karez Well

karez-well01 Image of Turpan Karez Well is a kind of underground water works invented and built by laboring people of various Chinese ethnic groups to transform the natural environment of the dry region.

karez-wellThe water comes from snow on Tianshan Mountain and underground water. The reason Karez well was built underground is to prevent water from evaporating.

For most Turpan people, Karez wells still play the role of a lifeline, given the special weather condition. A Karez well normally consists of a silo, underground and above ground canals, and a water-storage dam.

There are, altogether, over 1000 Karez wells in the Turpan basin, the total length of which would exceed that of Yangtze River, the longest river in China. The earliest construction dates back to at least 1000 years ago. Karez wells are only to be found in the Turpan area of Xinjiang.