In 1857 the Thames Conservancy Board was established.
- For conservancy purposes, regulation of navigation, removal of obstruction, dredging, &c.
All the rights, powers and duties of the Thames Conservancy, so far as concerns the Thames below Teddington Lock, were transferred to the Port Authority under the act, as also were the powers of the Watermen's Company in respect of the registration and licensing of vessels, and the regulation of lightermen and watermen.
The first charter by which the city claims the jurisdiction and conservancy of the river Thames was granted by Richard I.
Restrictions necessary for the proper conservancy of the forests are, however, imposed, and the system of shifting cultivation, which denudes a large area of forest growth in order to place a small area under crops, is held to cost more to the community than it is worth, and is only permitted, under due regulation, where forest tribes depend on it for their sustenance.
Above the intakes of the water companies (at Hampton or in the vicinity), the Thames Conservancy has enforced the requirements of parliament that no sewage or other pollution shall be allowed to pass into the Thames, into its tributary streams, or even into any water communicating with them.
The works as subsequently maintained by the Thames Conservancy ensure an efficient head of water during the drier seasons of the year, and facilitate the escape of winter floods.
The fisheries are under the regulation of by-laws made by the Thames Conservancy, which apply to the riparian owners as well as to the public generally.
The recommendations of the Commission included the creation of a single controlling authority to take over the powers of the Thames Conservancy Watermen's Company, and Trinity House and the docks of the companies already detailed.
The Thames Conservancy also offered itself as the public authority.
The ports of Hull and Goole have been administratively combined since 1888, the conservancy of the river being under the Humber Conservancy Board.
Measures of conservancy have been suggested, but their execution would be almost impracticable.
Systematic conservancy of the Indian forests received a great impetus from the passing of the Forest Law in 1878, which gave to the government powers of dealing with private rights in the forests of which the chief proprietary right is vested in the state.
The Famine Commission of 1878 urged the importance of forest conservancy as a safeguard to agriculture, pointing out that a supply of wood for fuel was necessary if cattle manure was to be used to any extent for the fields, and also that forest growth served to retain the moisture in the subsoil.
The administration of the law devolves upon local forest conservancy boards.
The acts referred to include those relating to the diseases of animals, destructive insects, explosives, fish conservancy, gas meters, margarine, police, reformatory and industrial schools, riot (damages), sale of food and drugs, weights and measures.
All such boroughs form part of the county for the purposes of pauper lunatics, analysts, reformatory and industrial schools, fish conservancy, explosives, and, of course, the purposes for which the larger quarter sessions boroughs also form part of the county, such as main roads, and are assessed to county rate accordingly.
Of the powers vested in the county authority under the Highway Act 1878, the most important are those relating to main roads, which are specially noticed hereafter; (ix.) the tables of fees to be taken by and the costs to be allowed to any inspector, analyst or person holding any office in the county other than the clerk of the peace and the clerks of the justices; (x.) the appointment, removal and determination of salaries of the county treasurer, the county surveyor, the public analysts, any officer under the Explosives Act 1875, and any officers whose remuneration is paid out of the county rate, other than the clerk of the peace and the clerks of the justices; (xi.) the salary of any coroner whose salary is payable out of the county rate, the fees, allowances and disbursements allowed to be paid by any such coroner, and the division of the county into coroners' districts and the assignments of such districts; (xii.) the division of the county into polling districts for the purposes of parliamentary elections, the appointment of the places of election, the places of holding courts for the revision of the lists of voters, and the costs of, and other matters to be done for the registration of parliamentary voters; (xiii.) the execution as local authority of the acts relating to contagious diseases of animals, to destructive insects, to fish conservancy, to wild birds, to weights and measures, and to gas meters, and of the Local Stamp Act i 869; (xiv.) any matters arising under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886.
The Pruth and Sereth are navigable for a short distance by small sailing craft; the conservancy of the Danube (q.v.) is controlled by a European commission, which sits at Galatz.