Our Research2019-02-27T16:15:59+00:00

Research Using Core Global Dam Datasets

Used together, the three core datasets offer global coverage of existing medium and large sized dams, associated large reservoirs, and future hydropower developments. They have been used to derive preliminary results to spur deeper research along new lines of inquiry. These data and the associated mapping and analytical tools will also be useful to governments, development agencies, NGOs, academics, community groups and those undertaking water resources, energy, infrastructural or environmental research, planning or assessments.

Key characteristics of the three core dam datasets are shown below.

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GOOD2 dams

GOOD2 contains the geospatial coordinates for more than 38,000 dams across the planet.

Global map of all GOOD2 dams

Concentration of dams at the sub-national level

The highest concentrations of GOOD2 dams by state can be found in southern Brazil and central to southern India.

Map of North America with concentrations of dams by state/province
Map of Europe with concentrations of GOOD2 dams by country
Map of Asia with concentrations of GOOD2 dams by country/state
Map of concentrations of GOOD2 dams in South America by state
Map of concentrations of GOOD2 dams in Africa by state
Map of GOOD2 dam concentrations in Oceania by state

GRanD v1.1 and v1.3 dams

GRanD v1.1 and v1.3 contain the locations and characteristics for 7,320 dams and reservoirs across the planet. GRanD dams are snapped to the HydroSHEDS river network, which facilitates research on the size of rivers being dammed.

Graph of total GRanD dams with large reservoirs built by decade
Graph of total volume of reservoirs of GRanD's large reservoirs by decade
Graph of cumulative discharge of rivers impounded by GRanD dams by decade

When focusing on reservoirs with storage greater than 100 million cubic metres (MCM), large dam and reservoir construction peaked between 1960 and 1969. Cumulative volume of water impounded peaked later, between 1970 and 1979. Large reservoir construction slowed considerably after these peaks. Though dam and reservoir construction has not returned to rates seen over the middle of the 20th century, the size of rivers being dammed has increased. Fewer dams with large reservoirs were built between 2000 and 2016, but the cumulative discharge of rivers being impounded by large dams nearly reaches that of the much more active decade between 1970 and 1979, indicating that recent dams are increasingly built on larger rivers.

Global map of GRanD v1.1 and v1.3 dams

FHReD dams

Future Hydropower Reservoirs and Dams contains the spatial location and planned megawatts for 3,700 hydropower dams that are either planned or under construction.

The highest concentration of future hydropower projects can be found in Brazil. Countries like China and India also feature high concentrations of future hydropower projects.

Map of Future Hydropower Reservoirs and Dams concentrated by country

Though Brazil is planning more dams than China, China is planning the highest concentration in terms of total megawatts of energy produced.

Map of Future Hydropower Reservoirs and Dams concentrated in megawatts by country