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Since ancient times, in countries where rising water levels present major residential problems and threats to agriculture, governments have built levees and canals to keep settlements and fields from flooding and to control the directions in which water flows. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of levees in China, India, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. In addition to providing flood protection and controlling water flow, the levee is also used in agricultural production and in regulating water and ice flow.

Some experts believe that today's levees are actually less efficient than those of the past and fault modern engineers for ignoring historical knowledge in constructing levees. From an engineering standpoint, the most important factors in constructing levees are the stability of the foundation on which they stand and the ...

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