Along the course of the canal there are 16 locks with lifting heights of up to 25 metres (82 ft). The 16 locks are managed from four remote control centres (Neuses since 2007, Kriegenbrunn, Hilpoltstein, and Dietfurt from the beginning of 2007).
These centres are manned with one worker on the night shift, and two on the day shift. The locks were modernized from 2001 to 2007, replacing the outdated relay technology with computers and a PLC. The cost was approximately $ 1.3 million per lock.
The summit water level is maintained by pumping water from the canal stretches below; and some water is drained into the summit level from local natural sources.
Thirteen locks are designed to conserve water, which they do by piping first the top third, and then the middle third of the lock water into side tanks during the down cycle. On the up cycle, these tanks replenish first the bottom third and then the middle third of the lock volume. The remaining top third is supplied by water from the upper level of the canal.