Conserving Water Along China's Old Silk Road

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By Beijing Energy Network. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Over 600 million Chinese people live in water-stressed regions. And perhaps nowhere are China's water challenges more acute than in the dusty farm-town regions of Xinjiang, along China's old Silk Road. This episode follows a 2000-year journey to hear the water conservation story of one town, Turpan, from an ancient underground canal system ("karez"), to a paradoxical modern irrigation effort that only exacerbated water table depletion, to a complete rethink of how communities can conserve their water.

We sit down with Jiang Liping, a Senior Irrigation Engineer at the World Bank who recently completed a six-year water conservation project in Turpan. The episode explores how satellite data, a switch from growing wheat to grapes, and a revamp of water conservation accounting were able to help restore water back to Turpan's rivers, lakes, and ecosystems.

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