Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A database of the world's dams

Something utterly cool for you to check out at the Global Water System Project: The Global Reservoir and Dam Database 1.1 is online now. This dataset compiles reservoirs with a storage capacity of more than 0.1 km³. The recent version contains 6.862 spatially explicit records of reservoirs with their respected dams and gives information on their storage volume.

Despite established recognition of the many critical environmental and social tradeoffs associated with dams and reservoirs, global data sets describing their characteristics and geographical distribution have been largely incomplete. To addrress this shortcoming, the Global Water System Project (GWSP) initiiated an international effort to collate the existing dam and reservoir data sets with the aim of providing a single, geographically explicit and reliable database for the scientific community: The Global Reservoir and Dam Database (GRanD).

The development of GRanD primarily aimed at compiling the available reservoir and dam information; correcting it through extensive cross-validation, error checking, and identification of duplicate records, attribute conflicts, or mismatches; and completing missing information from new sources or statistical approaches. The dams were geospatially referenced and assigned to polygons depicting reservoir outlines at high spatial resolution. While the main focus was to include all reservoirs with a storage capacity of more than 0.1 km³, many smaller reservoirs were added if data were available. The current version 1.1 of GRanD contains 6,862 records of reservoirs and their associated dams, with a cumulative storage capacity of 6,197 km³….

Tataragi Dam in Asago, Hyogo prefecture, Japan. Shot by 663highland, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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