British Waterways will change its name to the Canal and River Trust when it becomes an independent charity in April 2012.
The quango, which will be the country’s 13th largest charity, has also unveiled a new logo, created for free by the design agency Pentagram.
The charity’s 'transition trustees', who will act as a shadow board until the public body becomes a charity, announced the move in a review document published yesterday.
"We thought that a change of name and symbol was right because it would mark the very important step the government was taking by placing the waterways in trust for the nation in perpetuity," it says.
"It would be an opportunity to attract the attention of and appeal to the wider public. Market research showed that the term 'waterways' was not well understood in the wider community."
In Wales, the new charity will be known as Glandwr Cymru, which translates literally as "Waterside Wales".
The report says trustees are still negotiating with the government about the size of the contract it will receive to run waterways.
"We know what we need from government and we need to persuade them to increase their current offer of £39m a year for 10 years to a level that ensures the CRT is viable," it says.
"At the same time, we must be realistic and pragmatic. We all believe the waterways need and deserve substantial extra funds, but this is not a time when government can be expected to find this level of extra funding."
The organisation has announced plans for a council of 35 members, made up of stakeholders including private individuals, and people from business, charity and local government.