The Karez Water System is a unique water system in Xinjiang region which is still in good operable service. This long-lasting Water System not only solves the drinking water problem of the local people and provides water for wild animals, but it also prevents the Aiding Lake, located in the lowest point of Turpan basin, from drying up and becoming a desert. It also provides a balance for the local fauna, a benefit of economic and zoological value.
In addition, the Karez Water System has a significant human value because it has watered the oasis in Turpan and provided for its culture ever since the system was finished 2000 years ago. Elderly people in their declining years can still remember the convenience and benefit brought about by the Karez Water System in their childhood. Without this water system in place, there would be no Turpan, no sweet melon and fruit and no green grapes as shiny as pearls.
The construction of the Karez Water System was difficult since the project was very large. Its four parts, the drilled shaft, the blind drain, the open drain and the flooded dam, form an integrated system of water storage, irrigation and maintenance. Currently there are still 1100 Karez Water Channels in the Turpan area, which irrigate more than 35 percent of the total land.
To protect and publicize this Xinjiang relic, the Karez Water System Folkways Paradise (also called the New Karez Water System ) in Turpan was built. It includes many construction sites and buildings, among them the drilled shaft, a blind drain, the Karez Water System Museum, the underground viewing passage for the blind drain, and the ground construction showing areas of the Water System, as well as the Grape Long Corridor and the Karez Underground Tea Bar. Here, visitors can not only get to know the construction process of the System, its original appearance and its history, but also enjoy grapes irrigated by the water from the Karez Water System. This way they can share in the goodwill exhibited among the locals and brought about by this great historic project.
The Karez Water System Paradise (the Old Karez Water System) which is about one kilometer away from the Karez Water System Folkways Paradise (the New Karez Water System ), is also one of the best preserved tourist spots in Turpan, Xinjiang. From July to September is Turpan's harvest time, when visitors can appreciate the marvelous water system as well as taste the area's sweet melons and fruits.