The River Scarpe rises in the Pas-de-Calais and flows through it for several kilometres before entering the Douai region. It divides in the commune of Courchelettes to give rise to the Scarpe diversion canal, dug in 1891. It connects the Sensée canal to the river Deûle and trade by waterway is still thriving. Even today, graceful and imposing barges (the standard gauge, the Freycinet, measures 38.5m!) cut through the water every day towards Belgium or the Paris region.