The canalisation of the Bega river became imperative in the 18th century to boost the economic development of Banat and to improve the sanitary condition of the province by draining the marshes.
Bega Canal
Bega Canal

The canalisation of the Bega river became imperative in the 18th century to boost the economic development of Banat and to improve the sanitary condition of the province by draining the marshes.

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The canalisation of the Bega river became imperative in the 18th century to boost the economic development of Banat and to improve the sanitary condition of the province by draining the marshes. The Bega canal was also an important artery for the transport of timber, agricultural and manufacturing products. In order to improve the canal started by Governor Mercy and to ensure the necessary flow on the Bega, in 1728 the Dutch engineer Maximilian Fremaut designed a canal plan for the Bega-Timiș link. Thus, by installing the dam at Coștei together with the weir at Topolovăț, the problem of regulating the flow of the Timis and Bega rivers upstream from Timisoara was solved, thus ensuring protection against floods. The works of arrangement and maintenance of the canal involved an enormous human and financial effort. 

From 1732, when the Bega canal became navigable between Timișoara and Tisa, it became the main route for transporting goods from Banat until the second half of the 19th century. The first regulation of navigation and trade on the Bega dates back to 1756, and in 1775 the Timișoara Navigation Office was founded. Through the Bega canal Timișoara benefited, until the inauguration of the railway (1857), from the only link with Central and Western Europe for the transport of larger quantities of goods or heavy goods. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bega canal was regularized in the perimeter of Timișoara. As a result of the construction of the hydropower station ("Turbine") and the new canal, which were put into operation on 3 May 1910, the Bega became navigable throughout the city, including the Fabric district. These works were complemented by the modern water supply and sewage systems, which were built in 1912-1914. The development of the Bega canal continued afterwards with the modernisation of the locks, the reconstruction of the dikes, the consolidation of the banks and other complex works.                  

Bibliography:

Marlen Negrescu, Dan Pura, Navigation on the Bega: Historical sequences, Brumar Publishing House, Timisoara, 2006.

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