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Waterway

A waterway is any navigable body of water. These include rivers, lakes, 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);
  • 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[?].

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.

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