Though a lot of Xinjiang is covered by desert sands, there are also several rather large bodies of water surrounded by beautiful grasslands and/or mountains.

Here is a short general overview of Xinjiang's bodies of water and some related links.
Heavenly Lake (Tianchi)
Only have a short time in and around Urumqi? Enjoy a day-trip to Heavenly Lake.
Kanas Lake / River
Take in the beautiful scenery at Kanas Lake, a place definitely worth visiting.
Ghulja (Ili) River
Be sure to visit Ghulja River on your tour of Ghulja City!
Sayram Lake
A beautiful body of water in northwestern Xinjiang - take time to enjoy a meal in a yurt and go for a hike or horseback ride.
Ayding Lake
Located in one of the hottest regions of China, this salt lake is all but dried up.
Barkol Lake
Head off the beaten path to see this lake in a Kazakh region of Xinjiang.
Bosten Lake
Just northeast of Korla, this large lake is home to many fish and birds and its beaches invite you to come for a swim.
Peacock (Kongqi) River
If passing through Korla, be sure to make some time to take a riverside walk.
More entries to be added soon!