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Encyclopedia

A waterway is any navigable body of water. These include rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, and canals. In order for a waterway to be navigable, it must meet several criteria:

  • The waterway must be deep enough to allow the draft depth of the vessels using it;
  • The waterway must be wide enough to allow passage for the beam width of the vessels using it;
  • The waterway must be free of barriers to navigation such as waterfalls and rapids, or have a way around them (such as canal locks and boat lifts);
  • The current of the waterway must be mild enough to allow vessels to make headway.

Vessels using waterways vary from small animal-drawn barges to immense ocean tankers and ocean liners, such as cruise ships.

Contents

Canals

Canals are waterways that are constructed to provide a new path of travel for vessels (as opposed to improving a natural waterway along its current course). At one time, canals were built mostly for small wooden barges drawn by horses or other draft animals. Today, major canals are built to allow passage of large ocean-going vessels (see Ship canal).

Tidal waterway

A tidal waterway is one open to the sea and far enough downstream (close enough to the sea) to be subject to twice-daily (or daily, depending on the local tides) reversals of flow and variation in depth. Non-tidal waterways are either far enough upstream to be beyond tidal effects, or are separated from the sea or the tidal stretch of the same waterway by a barrier (usually a navigation lock).

In actuality, every body of any liquid on the face of the Earth is subject to tides—even a bird bath. However, only bodies of water susceptible to tidal changes noticeable to humans are included in the customary definition.

See also

File:European Rivers.gif
European network of waterways

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Etymology

water + way

Noun

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Wikipedia

Singular
waterway

Plural
waterways

waterway (plural waterways)

  1. A body of water, such as a river, channel or canal, that can be navigated by boats or ships.
  2. A conduit or watercourse, such as on the deck of a ship, to drain water.

Translations


Simple English

A waterway is any body of water that can be used for transportation by people in boats. These include rivers, lakes, oceans, and canals.

They must be wide and deep enough for the boats, and either have no waterfalls and rapids, or have ways for boats to get around them, such as locks.


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