David Edwards-May is an internationally recognised waterways development consultant, cartographer, publisher and writer. David is the editor of our uniquely comprehensive and detailed Practical Navigation pages and PDF downloads, developed from his Imray book ‘Inland Waterways of France’ and based on our parallel experiences of navigating, exploring and investigating thousands of kilometres of French rivers and canals.
Resident in Grenoble and fluent in English, French, Italian and German, David initially worked for specialist consulting engineers SOGREAH from 1976 before founding his own waterways consultancy.
He is the author of nearly 100 study reports on issues of inland waterway development, principally in France but also throughout Europe on behalf of the EU including recent commissions in the UK (waterway funding) and Finland (cruise ship potential on Lake Saimaa).
His studies and expert appraisals have addressed significant aspects of inland waterways – transport, tourism, recreation and urban regeneration – examples being:
- Restoration of navigation on the River Lot (South-West France)
- Listing the Canal du Midi as a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Restoration of the cross-border Canal de Roubaix/Canal de l’Espierres
- Organiser, World Canals Conferences – Serbia (2009) and Toulouse (2013)
- Co-ordinator of the EU-funded ‘Voies d’Eau Vivantes’ (VEV), which brought together 11 partners from 5 countries
- Chaired the PIANC working group on standards for recreational waterways
David is the current President of Inland Waterways International.
David Edwards-May is additionally a cartographer, writer and publisher. In that field he is best known as editor (four editions since 1984) of the standard 310-page reference book ‘Inland Waterways of France’ (Imray) together with its accompanying map. He has also researched, created and published the definitive maps and directories ‘Inland Waterways of Europe’ and ‘North American Waterways’.
A keen marathon and half-marathon competitor, in the future he plans to walk, run or cycle the entire 8,500 km (5,000 mile) French waterway network, adding exceptional detail to an already unrivalled familiarity and understanding.