The law has much to say about waterways, including:
- The rights of the public to make use of waterways for navigation or recreation in boats and other craft.
- The rights of riparian owners to extract water, or to run drains into waterways, or to erect structures such as dams in them, or to divert or improve waterways.
- The potential liability of landowners to neighbours were flooding is caused by a failure to keep waterways in good repair.
- The control by the State of water abstraction, pollution and flooding, and the protection of wildlife.