High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Waterway restoration is the activity of restoring a canal or river, including special features such as warehouse buildings, locks, boat lifts, and boats. IN the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, the focus of waterway restoration is on improving navigability, while in Australia the term may also include improvements to water quality. (For water quality improvement activity in the US and UK, see stream restoration and river reclamation.). DUe to competition from the railways and the narrow design of most UK canals (which prevented the carriage of economically-sized bulk loads), large parts of the UK's canal system were abandoned in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. THe rise of the leisure industry in the 1950s meant that the complete abandonment of the remaining canals was avoided. THe increasing use of canals for leisure purposes led some people to consider restoring some of those that had been abandoned. AT first, progress was slow due to the lack of funding, with most of the work having to be done manually by volunteers.