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Apart from the complex math we do to find that most effective cross section of a canal for a common man the explanation can be
1. It is easier to build. As trapezoidal cross section does not need vertical walls made of concrete and the lining can be easily done.
2. This trapezoidal section offers least frictional resistance. 
3. This offers a minimal flow speed even when the quantum of flow is very low. As rectangular section will have stagnent water.
4. The increase in flow depth is not equal to increased flow but the depth raised gradually increases even if water quantity is suddenly increased, thus ensures safety of canal and afjrcent areas.. This is because as depth increases the cross section area increases.
5. Finally , It is easy to maintain such as dredging and tile work in trapezoidal canal can be done by even unskilled labour and less equipments.

Aftr all civil engineering is to ease and secure the lives of people apart from just math.

by:-Er.sanjay kumar

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just a guess.. because it would lessen the impact of water or other objects to its sides? Instead of directly exerting force perpendicular to the walls, some of the the force would be redirected up.

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