Green wins for the canals

We’re proud to be part of the Green WIN project tackling the excess energy use and carbon emissions caused by pumping water around our canals and rivers.

Aerial view of Caen Hill Locks and ponds Aerial view of Caen Hill Locks and ponds

Greener Waterway Infrastructure (Green WIN) is an Interreg North West Europe (NWE) funded project, running from November 2018 to May 2021. The project partnership is made up of Waterway Management Organisations (WMO’s), Universities, Public Service Organisations and Inland Waterways experts from across North West Europe. Together, we are committed to finding solutions.

Partners will carry out laboratory trials to check how well current pumping technologies, systems and processes are performing and to see if we can adapt these to optimise performance, use less energy and produce fewer emissions. We trial different configurations of equipment to see if they work more efficiently and if there are optimal ways to deploy these re-configurations in different hydrological and operational scenarios. We also examine how, or if, we can incorporate renewable energy solutions into existing pumping technologies.

Photo of Bingley Five Rise Locks

This research stage will be followed by live testing of the strongest solutions developed at 11 pilot sites across the UK, Ireland and France to check how they work in real operational conditions.

Our aim is for the solutions progressed in Green WIN to be developed further, or adapted, by SME’s and pump manufacturers.

Representatives from trade organisations are being invited to support our activities and participate on an Advisory Board. Their commercial insights will give us a better understanding of the industry’s needs and help ensure we focus on the things that should increase the chances of our greener technologies, systems and processes getting to market.

Impounding station, London

Persuading others to adopt Green WIN’s solutions as good practice is vital if we are to achieve wider efficiencies and carbon reductions. We will be working hard to ensure our tested solutions are applied across more NWE waterways and want to encourage WMO’s outside the partnership to install equipment or adopt the improved systems and processes demonstrated. The investment, procurement and business plan we set out in a Green Practices Toolkit is intended to assist their pump replacement planning when existing equipment approaches ‘end of life’.

We will set up a Greener Waterways Network to promote and sustain the findings from Green WIN long in to the future, teaming up with other inland waterway organisations and environmental groups to champion this initiative and encourage more WMO’s across Europe to use them to help ‘make their waterways greener’.


  • Canal & River Trust (UK)
  • Waterways Ireland (IE)
  • Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (NL)
  • Université de Liège - HECE (ULiège) (BE)
  • Voies Navigables de France (FR)
  • Vlaamse Landmaatschappij (BE)

Associate Partners

  • Struktur- und Genehmigungs direktion Süd (DE)
  • Inland Waterways International (EU)
  • Trinity College Dublin (IE)
  • Service Public de Wallonie Direction générale Mobilité et Voies hydrauliques (BE)

Amount of ERDF received from Interreg North-West Europe: €1.4 million

GreenWIN logo

Last date edited: 6 January 2020