The disappearance of the Karez of Turfan - Report from the project 'Harvest from wasteland - Land people and water management reforms in the drylands of Xinjiang'
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Haakon Lein & Yuling Shen. 2006. The disappearance of the Karez of Turfan. Report from the project ‘Harvest from wasteland. Land, people and water management reforms in the drylands of Xinjiang.’ Acta Geographica–Trondheim, Serie A, Nr. 15. Geografisk institutt, NTNU, Trondheim. 18 pp. ISSN 1502-2390. This report has been prepared as part of the project ‘Harvest from wasteland. People, land and water management in Xinjiang, China.’ This project focuses on land and water management issues as well as ongoing water reforms in locations in the Tarim basin of Xinjiang Uyuar Autonomous Region, Northwest China. The report deals with karez irrigation in Turfan district. Karez irrigation is a type of irrigation based on underground canals and is well known in many dry areas of the Middle East and Central Asia under the name qanats. The report describes the situation today, the number of karez still in use, their importance as regards agriculture as well as to identify causes behind the decline in number of karez in use. The report is based on fieldwork in Turfan in October 2004. A major conclusion is that the karez as a unique form of irrigation is under substantial pressure and that if present development continues karez irrigation will more or less be abandoned in the region within a decade or two.