Promoting inland waterways

Ghent night scene
Lyon Confluence basin
IWI visits Baja lock
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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 22 countries from around the world.

World Canals Conference

The 2018 World Canals Conference was held in Athlone, Ireland, on September 10-12, hosted by IWI members Waterways Ireland and the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.
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 (US National Park Service).

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

Navigating a Changing Climate

logo-pianc-changing-climateIWI is a member go the ‘Think Climate’ coalition under the auspices of PIANC (the The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure), working on a far-reaching initiative Navigating a Changing Climate. The coalition members believe 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
Special advisors
Dr Roger Squires – UK
Peter Linssen – Netherlands

IWI CouncilLeft to right, in Athlone: Barbara Sheridan (US), Paul Ayres (UK), Norman Smith (UK), Dave MacDougall (Canada), Mike Miller (Ireland), Peter Linssen (Netherlands), Sharon Leighton (US), David Edwards-May (France), Colin Becker (Ireland), Dave Ballinger (Canada), Linda Barth (US), Rudy Van der Ween (Belgium), Roger Squires, Di Harris and David Wadham (UK). The other Council members are Edo Bricchetti (Italy), Krsta Paskovic (Serbia), Mike Clarke (UK) and Benny Ruus (Sweden). Photo by Bob Naylor, Watermarx

Håverud Aqueduct

Håverud Aqueduct on the Dalsland Canal in Sweden, which celebrated its 150th anniversary on 31st August 2018