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IWAAC Report: Funding and Income Sources for Overseas Waterways

Published 2009


This report analyses the funding and income arrangements in place for overseas inland waterways that are comparable to those in Britain, being used principally for amenity purposes. High-capacity waterways that are part of national and trans-European national transport infrastructure are excluded from the analysis, since the principles and argumentation for funding proceed on an entirely different basis.

The Key Conclusions

Our conclusions on the advantages and disadvantages of the different funding models analysed cannot point to any obvious model or solution to ensure sustainability. The way each waterway is funded is closely related to the history of ownership and management. It is striking that public funding still amounts to around 98% in many cases. Only the Göta Canal comes close to the UK model, where the canal’s history as a commercial undertaking lives on under public ownership, and income is earned up to two thirds of the total expenditure. The Canadian canals also earn revenue that is far from negligible.