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Dujiangyan Ancient Irrigation Project

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Chengdu, China.

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Many potential visitors to Chengdu look at the description of Dujiangyan and pass it by. What, they ask, could possibly be interesting about an irrigation ditch? By getting this far into the review you stand some chance of visiting a site that is both interesting and off the beaten track.

The irrigation project at Dujiangyan was built some 2300 years ago and, with little modification, is still effective to this day. With a clever cut here and a small island there, the project's designer, Li Bing, a local magistrate, was able to divert the correct amount of water to prevent floods and irrigate a new area of farmland whatever the season. Perhaps the most amazing design features is the positioning of the island. This was built just below a bend in the river so that more water is diverted to the fields when the water is higher and flowing faster. The system has a variable control without moving parts.

Dujiangyan can be visited year round and is easily combined with the nearby Mt. Qingcheng.

Written by  Ian Ford.

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