Field Listing :: Waterways
This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water.
Country Comparison to the World
Country
Waterways(km)
Afghanistan 1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
Albania 41 km (on the Bojana River) (2011)
Angola 1,300 km (2011)
Argentina 11,000 km (2012)
Australia 2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river systems) (2011)
Austria 358 km (2011)
Bangladesh 8,370 km (includes up to 3,060 km of main cargo routes; the network is reduced to 5,200 km in the dry season) (2011)
Belarus 2,500 km (use limited by its location on the perimeter of the country and by its shallowness) (2011)
Belgium 2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2012)
Belize 825 km (navigable only by small craft) (2011)
Benin 150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)
Bolivia 10,000 km (commercially navigable almost exclusively in the northern and eastern parts of the country) (2012)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sava River on northern border; open to shipping but use limited) (2011)
Brazil 50,000 km (most in areas remote from industry and population) (2012)
Brunei 209 km (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m; the Belait, Brunei, and Tutong rivers are major transport links) (2012)
Bulgaria 470 km (2009)
Burma 12,800 km (2011)
Burundi (mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) (2011)
Cambodia 3,700 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2012)
Cameroon (major rivers in the south, such as the Wouri and the Sanaga, are largely non-navigable; in the north, the Benue, which connects through Nigeria to the Niger River, is navigable in the rainy season only to the port of Garoua) (2010)
Canada 636 km (Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States) (2011)
Central African Republic 2,800 km (the primary navigable river is the Ubangi, which joins the River Congo; it was the traditional route for the export of products because it connected with the Congo-Ocean railway at Brazzaville; because of the warfare on both sides of the River Congo from 1997, however, routes through Cameroon became preferred by importers and exporters) (2011)
Chad (Chari and Legone rivers are navigable only in wet season) (2012)
China 110,000 km (navigable waterways) (2011)
Colombia 24,725 km (18,300 km navigable; the most important waterway, the River Magdalena, of which 1,488 km is navigable, is dredged regularly to ensure the safe passage of cargo vessels and container barges) (2012)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 15,000 km (including the Congo, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)
Congo, Republic of the 1,120 km (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubanqui rivers above Brazzaville; there are many ferries across the river to Kinshasa; the Congo south of Brazzaville-Kinshasa to the coast is not navigable because of rapids, thereby necessitating a rail connection to Pointe Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only) (2011)
Costa Rica 730 km (seasonally navigable by small craft) (2011)
Cote d'Ivoire 980 km (navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons) (2011)
Croatia 785 km (2009)
Cuba 240 km (almost all navigable inland waterways are near the mouths of rivers) (2011)
Czech Republic 664 km (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals) (2010)
Denmark 400 km (2010)
Ecuador 1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)
Egypt 3,500 km (includes the Nile River, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in Nile Delta; the Suez Canal (193.5 km including approaches) is navigable by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 17.68 m) (2011)
El Salvador (Rio Lempa is partially navigable for small craft) (2011)
Estonia 335 km (320 km are navigable year round) (2011)
European Union 53,384 km (2013)
Fiji 203 km (122 km are navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges) (2012)
Finland 8,000 km (includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia; water transport is used frequently in the summer and is widely replaced with sledges on the ice in winter; there are 187,888 lakes in Finland that cover 31,500 km); Finand also maintains 8,200 km of coastal fairways (2013)
France metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km accessible to craft of 3,000 metric tons) (2010)
Gabon 1,600 km (310 km on Ogooue River) (2010)
Gambia, The 390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2010)
Germany 7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea) (2012)
Ghana 1,293 km (168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta) (2011)
Greece 6 km (the 6 km long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km) (2012)
Guatemala 990 km (260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season) (2012)
Guinea 1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger system) (2011)
Guinea-Bissau (rivers are navigable for some distance; many inlets and creeks give shallow-water access to much of interior) (2012)
Guyana 330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
Honduras 465 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2012)
Hungary 1,622 km (most on Danube River) (2011)
India 14,500 km (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels) (2012)
Indonesia 21,579 km (2011)
Iran 850 km (on Karun River; some navigation on Lake Urmia) (2012)
Iraq 5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)
Ireland 956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
Italy 2,400 km (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail) (2012)
Japan 1,770 km (seagoing vessels use inland seas) (2010)
Kazakhstan 4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River) (2010)
Kenya none specifically, the only significant inland waterway in the country is the part of Lake Victoria within the boundaries of Kenya; Kisumu is the main port and has ferry connections to Uganda and Tanzania (2011)
Kiribati 5 km (small network of canals in Line Islands) (2012)
Korea, North 2,250 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2011)
Korea, South 1,600 km (most navigable only by small craft) (2011)
Kyrgyzstan 600 km (2010)
Laos 4,600 km (primarily on the Mekong River and its tributaries; 2,900 additional km are intermittently navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m) (2012)
Latvia 300 km (navigable year round) (2010)
Liechtenstein 28 km (2010)
Lithuania 441 km (navigable year round) (2007)
Luxembourg 37 km (on Moselle River) (2010)
Madagascar 600 km (432 km navigable) (2011)
Malawi 700 km (on Lake Nyasa [Lake Malawi] and Shire River) (2010)
Malaysia 7,200 km (Peninsular Malaysia 3,200 km; Sabah 1,500 km; Sarawak 2,500 km) (2011)
Mali 1,800 km (downstream of Koulikoro; low water levels on the River Niger cause problems in dry years; in the months before the rainy season the river is not navigable by commercial vessels) (2011)
Mauritania (some navigation is possible on the Senegal River) (2011)
Mexico 2,900 km (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast) (2012)
Moldova 558 km (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut rivers) (2011)
Mongolia 580 km (the only waterway in operation is Lake Hovsgol) (135 km); Selenge River (270 km) and Orhon River (175 km) are navigable but carry little traffic; lakes and rivers freeze in winter, they are open from May to September) (2010)
Mozambique 460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2010)
Netherlands 6,237 km (navigable for ships of 50 tons) (2012)
Nicaragua 2,220 km (navigable waterways as well as the use of the large Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua; rivers serve only the sparsely populated eastern part of the country) (2011)
Niger 300 km (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March) (2012)
Nigeria 8,600 km (Niger and Benue rivers and smaller rivers and creeks) (2011)
Norway 1,577 km (2010)
Panama 800 km (includes the 82-km Panama Canal that is being widened) (2011)
Papua New Guinea 11,000 km (2011)
Paraguay 3,100 km (primarily on the Paraguay and ParanĂ¡ river systems) (2012)
Peru 8,808 km (there are 8,600 km of navigable tributaries on the Amazon system and 208 km on Lago Titicaca) (2011)
Philippines 3,219 km (limited to vessels with draft less than 1.5 m) (2011)
Poland 3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2009)
Portugal 210 km (on Douro River from Porto) (2011)
Romania 1,731 km (includes 1,075 km on the Danube River, 524 km on secondary branches, and 132 km on canals) (2010)
Russia 102,000 km (including 48,000 km with guaranteed depth; the 72,000 km system in European Russia links Baltic Sea, White Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and Black Sea) (2009)
Rwanda (Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft) (2011)
Senegal 1,000 km (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers) (2012)
Serbia 587 km (primarily on the Danube and Sava rivers) (2009)
Sierra Leone 800 km (600 km navigable year round) (2011)
Slovakia 172 km (on Danube River) (2012)
Slovenia (there is some transport on the Drava River) (2012)
South Sudan see entry for Sudan
Spain 1,000 km (2012)
Sri Lanka 160 km (primarily on rivers in southwest) (2012)
Sudan 4,068 km (1,723 km open year round on White and Blue Nile rivers) (2011)
Suriname 1,200 km (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m) (2011)
Sweden 2,052 km (2010)
Switzerland 1,292 km (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and another 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee used for the transport of commercial goods) (2010)
Syria 900 km (navigable but not economically significant) (2011)
Tajikistan 200 km (along Vakhsh River) (2011)
Tanzania (Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable) (2011)
Thailand 4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2011)
Togo 50 km (seasonally navigable by small craft on the Mono River depending on rainfall) (2011)
Turkey 1,200 km (2010)
Turkmenistan 1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
Uganda (there are no long navigable stretches of river in Uganda; parts of the Albert Nile that flow out of Lake Albert in the northwestern part of the country are navigable; several lakes including Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga have substantial traffic; Lake Albert is navigable along a 200-km stretch from its northern tip to its southern shores) (2011)
Ukraine 1,672 km (most on Dnieper River) (2012)
United Kingdom 3,200 km (620 km used for commerce) (2009)
United States 41,009 km (19,312 km used for commerce; Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, is shared with Canada) (2012)
Uruguay 1,600 km (2011)
Uzbekistan 1,100 km (2012)
Venezuela 7,100 km (the Orinoco River (400 km) and Lake de Maracaibo are navigable by oceangoing vessels) (2011)
Vietnam 47,130 km (30,831 km weight under 50 tons) (2011)
World 2,293,412 km
top ten longest rivers: Nile (Africa) 6,693 km; Amazon (South America) 6,436 km; Mississippi-Missouri (North America) 6,238 km; Yenisey-Angara (Asia) 5,981 km; Ob-Irtysh (Asia) 5,569 km; Yangtze (Asia) 5,525 km; Yellow (Asia) 4,671 km; Amur (Asia) 4,352 km; Lena (Asia) 4,345 km; Congo (Africa) 4,344 km
note: rivers are not necessarily navigable along the entire length; if measured by volume, the Amazon is the largest river in the world
top ten largest natural lakes (by surface area): Caspian Sea (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan) 372,960 sq km; Lake Superior (Canada, United States) 82,414 sq km; Lake Victoria (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) 69,490 sq km; Lake Huron (Canada, United States) 59,596 sq km; Lake Michigan (United States) 57,441 sq km; Lake Tanganyika (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia) 32,890 sq km; Great Bear Lake (Canada) 31,800 sq km; Lake Baikal (Russia) 31,494 sq km; Lake Nyasa (Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania) 30,044 sq km; Great Slave Lake (Canada) 28,400 sq km
note: the areas of the lakes are subject to seasonal variation; only the Caspian Sea is saline, the rest are fresh water (2013)
Zambia 2,250 km (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula rivers) (2010)
Zimbabwe (some navigation possible on Lake Kariba) (2011)