Chinese drama based around the hardships involved in bringing precious drinking water to a remote Hunan mountain village in Western China. As he comes of age, Ah Ming (Chen Chuang) begins a life of endless labour to provide water for his family. Forced into an arranged marriage with a girl from a neighbouring village, he is obliged to forsake his true love, Ah Shui (Xia Lu). However, his new wife is unable to cope with the harsh routine that the villagers must endure and leaves Ah Ming, never to return. The long-suffering Ah Shui steps forward to care for Ah Ming and his blind mother, sharing in their pain and grief. Life takes a turn for the better when the government renews its work on canals and dams that will bring water directly to the village, thus ensuring a better future for everyone - but tragedy is never far from the ill-fated Ah Ming and his family.