Navigable Waters

Definition - What does Navigable Waters mean?

Navigable Waters refers to the water bodies such as canals, lakes or rivers which are wide, slow and deep enough for letting water vessels to pass easily. In such waters there are few obstructions like trees and rocks. The bridges are required to have a sufficient clearance. If the speed of the water rises, it can make the channel un-navigable. These are the waters which are subjected to the flow and ebb current of the tide used for the purpose of foreign or interstate transportation.

Petropedia explains Navigable Waters

Once the navigability of the water body is made, it is applied laterally over the complete surface of the water body and is never destroyed by later events or actions that can damage or impede the navigable capacity. There are various factors that must be examined while making any determination about the navigability of the water body.

Before declaring about the navigability, following conditions should be satisfied:

  • Present or past possibility of foreign or interstate commerce.
  • The physical capabilities to be used by the commerce.
  • The defined geographical limitations of the water body.

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