Parliamentary involvement with waterways today operates in a European context. Under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) Member States must produce river basin management plans in order to protect, improve and maintain the environmental condition of surface and ground waters, which includes canals and rivers.
Concerns about implementing the WFD in the UK were raised by the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee in 2003.
In this way Members of Parliament continue to involve themselves in the detail of canals and rivers in the UK and help to determine their form.
Page last updated June 2015.