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3.2.4 Inland navigation


Navigation affects most of the major rivers in Europe due to the presence of inland waterways on the large European rivers and intensive leisure boat activity on the smaller rivers. Furthermore, many canals were developed during early industrialisation and some navigable rivers and canal systems are nowadays used for leisure boats only. In order for natural rivers to be used as modern shipping lanes, numerous changes have been made to rivers and their floodplains. Inland navigation is typically associated with a range of hydromorphological alterations such as channelization, channel deepening, channel maintenance, installation of groynes and flow regulation, which adversely impact water ecosystems (BMU/UBA, 2016; ICPDR, 2007). The alterations are bigger when smaller rivers are made navigable for sizes of ships, which are too large for the natural size of the river. In the second RBMPs, a relatively small number of river and lake water bodies (approximately 700 water bodies spread in 13 WFD countries) were reported as impacted by pressures from inland navigation. However, navigation issues are of high importance in some of the largest river basins in Europe such as the Danube and the Rhine.

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