Promoting inland waterways

IWI brings together people and organisations who support the conservation, use, development and proper management of inland waterways worldwide.


IWI leaflet

Cover of IWI promotional leaflet

IWI brings together people and organisations who support the conservation, use, development and proper management of inland waterways worldwide. It aims to raise public awareness of the benefits of using waterways for a wide range of activities, from inland water transport to cruising, towpath walking and other recreational uses, as well as appreciating their architectural and landscape values as heritage. It also promotes restoration, where appropriate, of waterways which have become derelict.
Its membership includes leading navigation authorities, as well as voluntary bodies, museums and commercial companies. Individual members include both users and experts in the various disciplines.
All have a keen interest in both the history and the modern significance of inland waterways for commercial carrying and recreational use. Today the membership covers 20 countries from around the world.

World Canals Conference

Since 2008 IWI’s World Canals Conference Site Selection Steering Committee has been choosing the site to host the annual World Canals Conference, from the applications submitted. The committee is currently chaired by Rory Robinson.

See details of the forthcoming events – WCC 2018 Athlone, Ireland, WCC 2019, Yangzhou, China, and WCC 2020 Leipzig, Germany, on our WCC page.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 28 February, 2018.

Pre- and post-conference tours are available, to discover the 1000 km of navigable waterways on the island of Ireland.


Navigating a Changing Climate

logo-pianc-changing-climateIWI has joined the Navigating a Changing Climate initiative under the auspices of PIANC (the The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure). The ‘Think Climate’ coalition believes that it is essential to adapt inland and maritime navigation infrastructure; uncertainty can no longer be used as an excuse for inaction. The evidence is unequivocal. Climate change is happening. Adaptation of inland and maritime navigation infrastructure is vital, and the time to act is now. See the coalition web site here. A global declaration on climate change adaptation for transport was presented at COP22 in Marakech, Morocco, on November 17th, 2016. The coalition also includes the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), the International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA), the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), the International Bulk Terminals Association (IBTA), the European Dredging Association (EuDA), the Smart Freight Centre (SFC), the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).

Join IWI

Members receive regular news of campaigns and developments in all areas through the magazine World Wide Waterways and newsletter IWI News.
Information is also regularly posted on our blog and Facebook page Inland Waterways International – IWI

IWI officers

David Edwards-May – France

Past President
Liaison World Canals Conference Steering Committee and World Canal Cities Organisation*

David Ballinger – Canada

Paul Ayres – UK

Di Harris – UK

Finance Officer
Norman Smith – France

* The full name is World Heritage and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (abbreviated as WCCO).

Håverud Aqueduct

Håverud Aqueduct on the Dalsland Canal in Sweden