Data2019-02-27T14:28:54+00:00

GDW curates and hosts three leading global dam databases, and provides summary information and links to many additional global, regional and national datasets

GDW’s Core Datasets

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Large irrigation reservoir
Small run-of-river hydropower project

Each of the three core datasets has been developed over many years with a particular focus and methodology. The Global Geo-referenced Database of Dams (GOOD2) maps all dams visible on Google Earth satellite imagery globally; it catalogues the geospatial coordinates of 38,660 dams. The Global Reservoir and Dam Database (GRanD) maps the location and attribute data of 7,320 dams greater than 15m in height or with a reservoir of more than 0.1km3. Future Hydropower Reservoirs and Dams (FHReD) maps 3,700 dams that are under construction or in advanced planning stages. Together, these three datasets represent the most detailed, freely available global database of dams and georeferenced information about global dams.

Currently, some overlaps exist between the datasets. For example, large dams mapped by GRanD may also exist in GOOD2, though the GOOD2 dam points are location-only and do not carry the attribute data found in GRanD. Dams that were under construction before 2015 may have been captured by FHReD; those that have been completed since may also be reflected as completed and operational in GRanD or GOOD2, though again without attribute data. Our future efforts are focused on harmonizing these three datasets so that researchers can either use them independently or in combination with all overlaps attributed for and easily filtered out.

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GDW’s Global Dam and Reservoir Datasets

DatasetYear published# RecordsSize of DamSourcesMethodsAttributesGeo-referencedAligned to HydroSHEDSLicenseDistribution
GOOD2201538,660Medium to largeGoogle EarthManually DigitizedCoordinatesYesNo--Access data using this GEODATA user feedback form
GRanDv1.3 – 2019
v1.1 – 2011
v1.3 – 7,***
v1.1 – 6862
Large (≥0.1km3)Databases that provide freely available dam data, research articles, grey literature, internetManual inspection and validation of all recordsMultipleYesYesFree for non-commercial useDownload v1.3

Download v1.1
FHReD20153,700≥ 1MWDatabases that provide freely available dam data, research articles, grey literature, internetManual inspection and validation of all recordsMultipleYesNo--Download FHReD

External Datasets

Here we provide a curated list of other dam databases that are available online. These datasets are not incorporated into the GDW data except where listed explicitly in the description of the dataset.

This list grows as new data is made available. We welcome contributions from researchers who work at regional and global scales.

Contribute Data

Global Dam and Reservoir Datasets from External Sources

DatasetYear published# RecordsSize of DamSourcesMethodsAttributesGeo-referencedAligned to HydroSHEDSLicenseDistribution
ICOLD1958 – 201859,071≥ 15m, or 5-15m with reservoir ≥0.03km3Submitted by member countriesVaries by countryMultipleNoNoSee ICOLDPurchase access to online database at
ICOLD
FAO AQUASTAT201414,500Medium to largeCountry-based reportingGathered during country update processesMultiplePartialNoSee User AgreementAccess database at AQUASTAT website
OpenStreetMap Dams201754,308--Global dam data based on OSM tagsDownloaded Mulligan Dec. 2017MultipleYesNoOpen data, licensed under the Open Data Commons Open Database License, © OpenStreetMap contributorsAccess data using this GEODATA user feedback form

Regional Dam and Reservoir Datasets from External Sources

DatasetYear published# RecordsSize of DamSourcesMethodsAttributesGeo-referencedAligned to HydroSHEDSLicenseDistribution
AMBER Atlas – EuropeExpected Nov 2019> 450,000Small to largeInstitutional registries (national, regional, EU and worldwide)Data gathered and submitted by institutionsMultipleYesNoExpected to be freely available/downloadableExpected to be accessible by web-based maps and data at
JRC and AMBER websites
United States National Inventory of Dams201690,580Small to largeState registriesData gathered and submitted by statesMultipleYesNoSee National Inventory of DamsAccess web-based maps and statistics at National Inventory of Dams
United States National Anthropogenic Barrier Database201252,456Small to largeUnited States National Inventory of DamsCleaned and aligned to NHDPlus/NHDMultipleYesNo--Download file at USGS
MARS European Dams20165,043≥ 10mECRINS v1.1, ICOLD--MultipleYesNo--Download as part of larger geodatabase at MARS Project
South Africa List of Registered Dams20185,528Reservoirs ≥ 50,000 m3 and dam height ≥ 5mIndividual registration in accordance with Dam Safety Legislation--MultipleYesNo Public domainDownload the database at Republic of South Africa Water and Sanitation Department
Large Dams in Canada2003933Medium to largeCanadian Dam Association--MultipleYesNo--Available on request at Canadian Dam Association
Japanese Dam Finder2018----Data c/o Japan Dam Foundation--MultipleYesNoSee Japanese Dam FinderAccess online visualization at Japanese Dam Finder
Greater Mekong Dams Observatory--805Reservoirs ≥ 0.5 km2 and hydropower dams ≥ 15MW----MultipleYesNo--Available on request at Greater Mekong Dams Observatory
Volta Basin Dams20161200--Google Earth Manually digitizedLocationYesNoFree for non-commercial useAccess data using this GEODATA user feedback form