Under the 225 year lease held by the Royal Docks Management Authority Limited (RoDMA) the Authority has access and responsibility for all of the water areas that encompass the Royal Docks, namely swing and lifting bridges, locks, impounding equipment and a limited amount of land area. The RoDMA is both funded and owned by the land owners whose land surrounds the water, and is responsible for insuring the adjacent landowners interests are protected as well as providing a long term solution for effective water management. In addition RoDMA insures the public has unrestricted access to water areas, including quaysides.

London's Royal Docks were built mid 19th Century and covers 250 acres in what is considered the largest impounded water area in the world. The King George V dock, Royal Victoria dock and the Royal Albert dock all come under the Royal Docks, along with the Albert Basin, Pontoon Dock, Gallions lock and the King George V lock. Access to the River Thames can be gained directly via the two locks.

RoDMA is responsible for all of the administration, maintenance, quality control, security and regulation of all the dock water areas. One of the main responsibilities is the impounding and maintaining the quality of the water which includes dredging when necessary. RoDMA is also responsible for maintaining the infrastructure, which includes all locks, gates, bridges, the pumping station, roads, footbridges and the plaza area. In addition RoDMA maintains security, safety and emergency systems and ensures that harbor regulations are enforced.

RoDMA is in favor and in fact encourages recreational, leisure activities and events to be held in the Royal Docks' water areas. Such leisure activities can include boating of various styles i.e. canoeing, rowing, jet-skiing, and sailing and dragon boating. On occasion events are held there, with two notable ones being the Great London Swim and the swim section of the London Triathlon. Shows at the nearby ExCeL London Exhibition Centre attract visiting vessels, including the World Travel Market and London International Boat Show.

RoDMA provides licenses for legal use of the water and is responsible for ensuring that the bylaws are upheld. All regulations pertaining to the proper use of all areas coming under RoDMA are enforced, including the coming and going of vessels. The Albert Basin contains a marina and many television and movie directors are making use of the Royal Docks as a filming location.