GeoDAR: georeferenced global dams and reservoirs dataset for bridging attributes and geolocations Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Dams and reservoirs are among the most widespread; human-made infrastructures on Earth. Despite their societal and environmental; significance, spatial inventories of dams and reservoirs, even for the large; ones, are insufficient. A dilemma of the existing georeferenced dam datasets; is the polarized focus on either dam quantity and spatial coverage (e.g., GlObal geOreferenced Database of Dams, GOODD) or detailed attributes for a limited dam quantity or region (e.g.,; GRanD (Global Reservoir and Dam database) and national inventories). One of the most comprehensive datasets, the; World Register of Dams (WRD), maintained by the International Commission on; Large Dams (ICOLD), documents nearly 60 000 dams with an extensive suite of; attributes. Unfortunately, the WRD records provide no geographic; coordinates, limiting the benefits of their attributes for spatially; explicit applications. To bridge the gap between attribute accessibility and; spatial explicitness, we introduce the Georeferenced global Dams And; Reservoirs (GeoDAR) dataset, created by utilizing the Google Maps geocoding application programming interface (API) and; multi-source inventories. We release GeoDAR in two successive versions (v1.0; and v1.1) at (Wang et; al., 2022). GeoDAR v1.0 holds 22 560 dam points georeferenced from the WRD,; whereas v1.1 consists of (a) 24 783 dam points after a harmonization between; GeoDAR v1.0 and GRanD v1.3 and (b) 21 515 reservoir polygons retrieved from; high-resolution water masks based on a one-to-one relationship between dams and reservoirs. Due to geocoding challenges, GeoDAR spatially; resolved ∼ 40 % of the records in the WRD, which, however,; comprise over 90 % of the total reservoir area, catchment area, and; reservoir storage capacity. GeoDAR does not release the proprietary WRD; attributes, but upon individual user requests we may provide assistance in; associating GeoDAR spatial features with the WRD attribute information that; users have acquired from ICOLD. Despite this limit, GeoDAR, with a dam; quantity triple that of GRanD, significantly enhances the spatial details of; smaller but more widespread dams and reservoirs and complements other; existing global dam inventories. Along with its extended attribute; accessibility, GeoDAR is expected to benefit a broad range of applications; in hydrologic modeling, water resource management, ecosystem health, and; energy planning.;

publication date

  • April 21, 2022

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • July 25, 2022 10:29 AM

Full Author List

  • Wang J; Walter BA; Yao F; Song C; Ding M; Maroof AS; Zhu J; Fan C; McAlister JM; Sikder S

author count

  • 14

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1866-3516

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1869

end page

  • 1899


  • 14


  • 4