The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) was formed in 1946 as a registered charity in the United Kingdom to campaign for the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and sensitive development of British Canals and river navigations.
The current National Chairman is John Fletcher, and the National Vice-Chairman is Roger Squires.
The Association is governed by a Council; among its members are the actor David Suchet and Sheila Suchet.
The main committees are Finance and General Purposes, Navigation, Restoration, Promotions and Communications, Waterway Recovery Group, Inland Waterways Enterprises Limited, IWA Festivals Division, Inland Waterways Freight Group, IWA Committee for Wales, and Essex Waterways Limited.
The Association works closely with United Kingdom navigation authorities including British Waterways and other waterway bodies, a wide range of national and local authorities, voluntary, private and public sector organisations.
The Association also supplies voluntary labour through its subsidiary, the Waterway Recovery Group.
It is a registered charity, number 212342.
Through these efforts, more than 500 miles of derelict and unavailable canals and river navigations have been re-opened to public use since the Association was founded. Another 500 miles are currently the subject of restoration plans. However, the Association believes there is still much to do.
IWA has formed a subsidiary company, Essex Waterways Ltd. and, with support from local authorities, will operate and maintain the river navigation for the benefit of the general public. This is the first time that IWA has taken full operational and maintenance responsibilities for a navigation.