Why are canals next to rivers? Is it always next to rivers? ?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    For one thing rivers tend to follow the best grades, except where there is a major change in elevation. 

    Secondly a canal needs a supply of water, and getting from a river is a lot easier then digging a well and pumping it up from forty feet underground.

    Another reason was that back in the day digging on the river bank was easier then digging in a flowing river. Dredge construction of a shipping channel  has not always been possible. Many canals were constructed before the invention of a steam powered dredger.

  • F
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Sometimes but not always. Canals are often used to link rivers as they were  in 18th century England giving a virtually nationwide network. 

    There was no point in building canals where the river was navigable .

  • RR
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Rivers can be a useful source of water for canals. However, many canals are a long way from rivers and use other watersources (eg reservoir)

  • John P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    No, canals are not always next to rivers. 

    Where I live in southern England there is a large river, very twisty, with a large tidal range, and thus very tricky for navigation even by the small boats of older times. A canal was built over 200 years ago, almost straight, approximately parallel to the river, and boats then had much safer and more reliable passage upstream and downstream.

    Tavy seems to have no real idea about canals. They are often cut out from the landscape, from farmland, etc. Some go through high ranges of hills by means of tunnels, miles long, excavated with great effort by hundreds of hardy workers, in the days before mechanical diggers. Some are carried on well-engineered bridges over deep valleys. Do any rivers do that?!

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  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Canals are rivers, except they are usually built up on the sides so barges can dock.


  • Rick
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    they have to get their water from somewhere ......................

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