Waterside recreation and commercial shipping are exponents of developing human society and the intensity of its exploitation of the goods and services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In the twentieth century, the impacts and extent of both have expanded extraordinarily with increasing population density and affluence. Effects of waterside recreation range from none if incidental trekking, canoeing and swimming are involved, to major alterations of littoral habitat and the disappearance of plant and animal communities when lakeside development is intense and involves cottages, boat facilities and fish stock manipulation. Inland navigation involves river regulation, i.e., water level management and a straightening and deepening of the main channels, thus altering riparian and benthic habitats. The connection of previously unconnected river networks and the increased intensity of ship traffic enhance biological invasions. Thus, both recreation and navigation may severely affect aquatic ecosystem services in the competitive struggle for water as a resource and as a geographic feature in the landscape.