Beginning shortly below Tekrit there are indications of considerable canalization, both for the purpose of irrigating country remote from the river, and also of shortening the course of the river for navigation.
Shortly below Kut-el-Amara all traces of ancient canalization on the east side vanish, and it would appear as though much of that region, now largely under water at flood time, constituted an inland sea.
This ancient system of canalization was inherited from the Persians (who, in turn, inherited it from their predecessors), by the Arabs, who long maintained it in working order, and the astonishing fertility and consequent prosperity of the country watered by the Euphrates, its tributaries and its canals, is noticed by all ancient writers.
Although very little of the coast belt is actually swampy, a kind of natural canalization connects many of the rivers at their mouths with each other, though some of these connecting creeks are as yet unmarked on maps.
A scheme was set on foot for the improvement by canalization of the Cape Fear river above Wilmington under a Federal project of 1902, which provided for a channel 8 ft.