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Waterways for Today

Introducing the Waterways for Today report and IWA’s vision for the future

We believe waterways are vital for today. Transforming waterways for leisure, living and business will revitalise the local economy and connect communities while having a positive impact on the environment. 

Ongoing funding is critical if we are to not only save the waterways for today, but for the future too.

With your help, our canals and rivers may stand a chance of securing the investment they need.

About the Campaign

In a bid to highlight the importance of the waterways network, and as the only independent and national charity dedicated to supporting all of Britain’s navigable rivers and canals, we have produced a new report: Waterways for Today.

The report demonstrates how inland waterways can contribute to the country’s economic recovery and outlines the 12 most significant benefits that the inland waterways can bring to our economy, environment, local communities and lives.

This campaign aims to support the launch of the report, educate people about the benefits of the waterways, and help to secure vital funding for waterways restoration projects.


Support our vision for the waterways

Who we are

The Inland Waterways Association is a membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 7,000 miles of canals and rivers.

We are passionate about protecting and restoring Britain’s waterways for everyone to enjoy.

The inland waterways are special outdoor places – sometimes tranquil and sometimes bustling – whose unique landscape, heritage and habitats are under threat from many pressures, not least inadequate Government support.

What we do
  • We are the only national charity that campaigns locally and nationally for all the country’s canals and river navigations
  • We provide leadership, resources and practical support for the waterway restoration sector
  • We lobby parliament, champion regeneration, run events, and fight to improve the waterways for all legitimate users
  • We are the navigation authority for the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex; we know how to run a waterway
  • Our Waterway Recovery Group undertakes civil engineering works and provides practical support across the country
  • Our  local branches provide support to waterways in their communities, and a social network for our members
  • Our national committees and panels provide expertise and guidance across the sector
Only IWA

Only IWA does all this, and more.

Our members are waterways-lovers from all walks of life who want to preserve and improve the network for future generations.

If you love the waterways, then join us.

There are 5,000 wonderful miles of navigable canals and rivers in mainland Britain.

Other Downloads

Waterways for Today Report

Click here to download a PDF copy.

Printed copies can be purchased from our online shop here.

12 Benefits of the Waterways