What is a canal?

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​The Gowanus Canal was built in the mid-1800s and once served as a major commercial route to New York Harbor.

A canal is a manmade waterway that allows boats and ships to pass from one body of water to another. Canals are also used to transport water for irrigation and other human uses. While the advent of more efficient forms of transportation has reduced the need for canals, they still play a vital role as conduits for transportation and foster global commerce.

There are two types of canals: waterways and aqueducts. Waterways are the navigable parts of a body of water, and can be located within a bay or open sea, can connect two or more waterbodies, or may even form networks within a city. Aqueducts are used exclusively to transport water for drinking, agriculture, and hydroelectric power.

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