Field Listing

Waterways

This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water.

  • Afghanistan

    1,200 km (2011) (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT)

  • Albania

    41 km (2011) (on the Bojana River)

  • Angola

    1,300 km (2011)

  • Argentina

    11,000 km (2012)

  • Australia

    2,000 km (2011) (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling River systems)

  • Austria

    358 km (2011)

  • Bangladesh

    8,370 km (2011) (includes up to 3,060 km of main cargo routes; network reduced to 5,200 km in the dry season)

  • Belarus

    2,500 km (2011) (major rivers are the west-flowing Western Dvina and Neman Rivers and the south-flowing Dnepr River and its tributaries, the Berezina, Sozh, and Pripyat Rivers)

  • Belgium

    2,043 km (2012) (1,528 km in regular commercial use)

  • Belize

    825 km (2011) (navigable only by small craft)

  • Benin

    150 km (2011) (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border)

  • Bolivia

    10,000 km (2012) (commercially navigable almost exclusively in the northern and eastern parts of the country)

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    990 km (2022) (Sava River on northern border; open to shipping but use limited)

  • Brazil

    50,000 km (2012) (most in areas remote from industry and population)

  • Brunei

    209 km (2012) (navigable by craft drawing less than 1.2 m; the Belait, Brunei, and Tutong Rivers are major transport links)

  • Bulgaria

    470 km (2009)

  • Burma

    12,800 km (2011)

  • Burundi

    673 km (2022) (mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

  • Cambodia

    3,700 km (2012) (mainly on Mekong River)

  • Cameroon

    (2010) (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)

  • Canada

    636 km (2011) (Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States)

  • Central African Republic

    2,800 km (2011) (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, importers and exporters preferred routes through Cameroon)

  • Chad

    12,400 km (2022) (Chari and Logone Rivers are navigable only in wet season) Chari is 11,400 km Legone is 1,000 km

  • China

    27,700 km (2020) (navigable waterways)

  • Colombia

    24,725 km (2019) (18,225 km navigable; the most important waterway, the River Magdalena, of which 1,092 km is navigable, is dredged regularly to ensure safe passage of cargo vessels and container barges)

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    15,000 km (2011) (including the Congo River, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes)

  • Congo, Republic of the

    1,120 km (2011) (commercially navigable on Congo and Oubangui 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, necessitating a rail connection to Pointe-Noire; other rivers are used for local traffic only)

  • Costa Rica

    730 km (2011) (seasonally navigable by small craft)

  • Cote d'Ivoire

    980 km (2011) (navigable rivers, canals, and numerous coastal lagoons)

  • Croatia

    4,714 km (2022) Danube 2,859 km, Sava 562 km, Drava 505 km, Neretva 20 km, Bosut 151 km, Kupa 296 km, Mura 53 km, Korana 134 km, Lonja 134 km

  • Cuba

    240 km (2011) (almost all navigable inland waterways are near the mouths of rivers)

  • Czechia

    664 km (2010) (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals)

  • Denmark

    400 km (2010)

  • Ecuador

    1,500 km (2012) (most inaccessible)

  • Egypt

    3,500 km (2018) (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)

  • El Salvador

    422 km (2022) (Rio Lempa River is partially navigable by small craft)

  • Estonia

    335 km (2011) (320 km are navigable year-round)

  • European Union

    (2013) 53,384 km

  • Fiji

    203 km (2012) (122 km are navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges)

  • Finland

    8,000 km (2013) (includes Saimaa Canal system of 3,577 km; southern part leased from Russia; water transport used frequently in the summer and widely replaced with sledges on the ice in winter; there are 187,888 lakes in Finland that cover 31,500 km); Finland also maintains 8,200 km of coastal fairways

  • France

    metropolitan France: 8,501 km (1,621 km navigable by craft up to 3,000 metric tons) (2010)

  • Gabon

    1,600 km (2010) (310 km on Ogooue River)

  • Gambia, The

    390 km (2010) (on River Gambia; small oceangoing vessels can reach 190 km)

  • Germany

    7,467 km (2012) (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea)

  • Ghana

    1,293 km (2011) (168 km for launches and lighters on Volta, Ankobra, and Tano Rivers; 1,125 km of arterial and feeder waterways on Lake Volta)

  • Greece

    6 km (2012) (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km)

  • Guatemala

    990 km (2012) (260 km navigable year round; additional 730 km navigable during high-water season)

  • Guinea

    1,300 km (2011) (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger River system)

  • Guinea-Bissau

    1,367 km (2022) major rivers Geba- 550km, Corubal 560 km, Cacheu 257 km (rivers are partially navigable; many inlets and creeks provide shallow-water access to much of interior)

  • Guyana

    330 km (2012) (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo Rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively)

  • Honduras

    465 km (2012) (most navigable only by small craft)

  • Hungary

    1,622 km (2011) (most on Danube River)

  • India

    14,500 km (2012) (5,200 km on major rivers and 485 km on canals suitable for mechanized vessels)

  • Indonesia

    21,579 km (2011)

  • Iran

    850 km (2012) (on Karun River; some navigation on Lake Urmia)

  • Iraq

    5,279 km (2012) (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways)

  • Ireland

    956 km (2010) (pleasure craft only)

  • Italy

    2,400 km (2012) (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail)

  • Japan

    1,770 km (2010) (seagoing vessels use inland seas)

  • Kazakhstan

    43,983 km (2020) (on the Ertis (Irtysh) River (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) River)

  • Kenya

    (2011) none specifically; the only significant inland waterway is the part of Lake Victoria within the boundaries of Kenya; Kisumu is the main port and has ferry connections to Uganda and Tanzania

  • Kiribati

    5 km (2012) (small network of canals in Line Islands)

  • Korea, North

    2,250 km (2011) (most navigable only by small craft)

  • Korea, South

    1,600 km (2011) (most navigable only by small craft)

  • Kyrgyzstan

    576 km (2022)

  • Laos

    4,600 km (2012) (primarily on the Mekong River and its tributaries; 2,900 additional km are intermittently navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m)

  • Latvia

    300 km (2010) (navigable year-round)

  • Liechtenstein

    28 km (2010)

  • Lithuania

    441 km (2007) (navigable year-round)

  • Luxembourg

    37 km (2010) (on Moselle River)

  • Madagascar

    600 km (2011) (432 km navigable)

  • Malawi

    700 km (2010) (on Lake Nyasa [Lake Malawi] and Shire River)

  • Malaysia

    7,200 km (2011) (Peninsular Malaysia 3,200 km; Sabah 1,500 km; Sarawak 2,500 km)

  • Mali

    1,800 km (2011) (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)

  • Mauritania

    1,086 km (2022) (some navigation possible on the Senegal River)

  • Mexico

    2,900 km (2012) (navigable rivers and coastal canals mostly connected with ports on the country's east coast)

  • Moldova

    558 km (2011) (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut Rivers)

  • Mongolia

    580 km (2010) (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 ice-free from May to September)

  • Mozambique

    460 km (2010) (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake)

  • Netherlands

    6,237 km (2012) (navigable by ships up to 50 tons)

  • Nicaragua

    2,220 km (2011) (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)

  • Niger

    300 km (2012) (the Niger, the only major river, is navigable to Gaya between September and March)

  • Nigeria

    8,600 km (2011) (Niger and Benue Rivers and smaller rivers and creeks)

  • Norway

    1,577 km (2010)

  • Panama

    800 km (2011) (includes the 82-km Panama Canal that is being widened)

  • Papua New Guinea

    11,000 km (2011)

  • Paraguay

    3,100 km (2012) (primarily on the Paraguay and Paraná River systems)

  • Peru

    8,808 km (2011) (8,600 km of navigable tributaries on the Amazon River system and 208 km on Lago Titicaca)

  • Philippines

    3,219 km (2011) (limited to vessels with draft less than 1.5 m)

  • Poland

    3,997 km (2009) (navigable rivers and canals)

  • Portugal

    210 km (2011) (on Douro River from Porto)

  • Romania

    1,731 km (2010) (includes 1,075 km on the Danube River, 524 km on secondary branches, and 132 km on canals)

  • Russia

    102,000 km (2009) (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)

  • Rwanda

    90 km (2022) (Lake Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft)

  • Senegal

    1,000 km (2012) (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance Rivers)

  • Serbia

    587 km (2009) (primarily on the Danube and Sava Rivers)

  • Sierra Leone

    800 km (2011) (600 km navigable year-round)

  • Slovakia

    172 km (2012) (on Danube River)

  • Slovenia

    710 km (2022) (some transport on the Drava River)

  • South Sudan

    see entry for Sudan

  • Spain

    1,000 km (2012)

  • Sri Lanka

    160 km (2012) (primarily on rivers in southwest)

  • Sudan

    4,068 km (2011) (1,723 km open year-round on White and Blue Nile Rivers)

  • Suriname

    1,200 km (2011) (most navigable by ships with drafts up to 7 m)

  • Sweden

    2,052 km (2010)

  • Switzerland

    1,292 km (2010) (there are 1,227 km of waterways on lakes and rivers for public transport and 65 km on the Rhine River between Basel-Rheinfelden and Schaffhausen-Bodensee for commercial goods transport)

  • Syria

    900 km (2011) (navigable but not economically significant)

  • Tajikistan

    200 km (2011) (along Vakhsh River)

  • Tanzania

    1,594 km (2022) (Lake Tanganyika 673 km, Lake Victoria 337 km, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) 584 km are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable)

  • Thailand

    4,000 km (2011) (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m)

  • Togo

    50 km (2011) (seasonally navigable by small craft on the Mono River depending on rainfall)

  • Turkey (Turkiye)

    1,200 km (2010)

  • Turkmenistan

    1,300 km (2011) (Amu Darya River and Kara Kum Canal are important inland waterways)

  • Uganda

    907 km (2022) (there are no long navigable stretches of river in Uganda; parts of the Albert Nile ( 210 km) that flow out of Lake Albert (160 km) in the northwestern part of the country are navigable; several lakes including Lake Victoria (337 km) and Lake Kyoga (199.5) have substantial traffic; Lake Albert is navigable along a 200-km stretch from its northern tip to its southern shores)

  • Ukraine

    1,672 km (2012) (most on Dnieper River)

  • United Kingdom

    3,200 km (2009) (620 km used for commerce)

  • United States

    41,009 km (2012) (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)

  • Uruguay

    1,600 km (2011)

  • Uzbekistan

    1,100 km (2012)

  • Venezuela

    7,100 km (2011) (Orinoco River (400 km) and Lake de Maracaibo navigable by oceangoing vessels)

  • Vietnam

    47,130 km (2011) (30,831 km weight under 50 tons)

  • World

    2,293,412 km (2017)

    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 1: rivers are not necessarily navigable along the entire length; if measured by volume, the Amazon is the largest river in the world, responsible for about 20% of the Earth's freshwater entering the ocean

    note 2: there are 20 countries without rivers: 3 in Africa (Comoros, Djibouti, Libya); 1 in the Americas (Bahamas); 8 in Asia (Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen); 3 in Europe (Malta, Monaco, Holy See), 5 in Oceania (Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu); these countries also do not have natural lakes

    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 1: the areas of the lakes are subject to seasonal variation; only the Caspian Sea is saline, the rest are fresh water

    note 2: Lakes Huron and Michigan are technically a single lake because the flow of water between the Straits of Mackinac that connects the two lakes keeps their water levels at near-equilibrium; combined, Lake Huron-Michigan is the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world

    note 3: the deepest lake in the world (1,620 m), and also the largest freshwater lake by volume (23,600 cu km), is Lake Baikal in Russia

  • Zambia

    2,250 km (2010) (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula Rivers)

  • Zimbabwe

    223 km (2022) some navigation possible on Lake Kariba (223 km)