Academic papers

Selected Publications


Messager, M.L., Lehner, B., Grill, G., Nedeva, I., Schmitt, O. (2016): Estimating the volume and age of water stored in global lakes using a geo-statistical approach. Nature Communications: 13603. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13603 (open access)

Abell, R., Lehner, B., Thieme, M., Linke, S. (2016): beyond the fenceline: assessing protection gaps for the world’s rivers. Conservation Letters. doi: 10.1111/conl.12312 (open access)

Mehdi, B., Ludwig, R., Lehner, B. (2016): Simulated future changes of extreme nutrient loads in a mesoscale agricultural watershed in Bavaria. Die Bodenkultur: Journal of Land Management, Food and Environment 67(2): 77–90. doi: 10.1515/boku-2016-0008 (open access)

Grill, G., Khan, U., Lehner, B., Nicell, J., Ariwi, J. (2016): Risk assessment of down-the-drain chemicals at large spatial scales: Model development and application to contaminants originating from urban areas in the Saint Lawrence River Basin. Science of the Total Environment 541: 825-838. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.100 (open access)


Mehdi, B., Lehner, B., Gombault, C., Michaud, A., Beaudin, I., Sottile, M.-F., Blondlot, A. (2015): Simulated impacts of climate change and agricultural land use change on surface water quality with and without adaptation management strategies. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 213: 47–60. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2015.07.019

Mehdi, B.B., Ludwig, R., Lehner, B. (2015): Evaluating the impacts of climate change and crop land use change on streamflow, nitrates and phosphorus: a modeling study in Bavaria. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 4: 60-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.04.009 (open access)

Fluet-Chouinard, E., Lehner, B., Rebelo, L.M., Papa, F., Hamilton, S.K., (2015): Development of a global inundation map at high spatial resolution from topographic downscaling of coarse-scale remote sensing data, Remote Sensing of Environment, 158: 348-361. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2014.10.015

Marthews, T.R., Dadson, S.J., Lehner, B., Abele, S., Gedney, N. (2015): High-resolution global topographic index values for use in large-scale hydrological modelling. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 19: 91-104. doi: 10.5194/hess-19-91-2015 (open access)

Grill, G., Lehner, B., Lumsdon, A.E., MacDonald, G.K., Zarfl, C., Reidy Liermann, C. (2015): An index-based framework for assessing patterns and trends in river fragmentation and flow regulation by global dams at multiple scales. Environmental Research Letters 10 015001. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/1/015001 (open access)


McDonald, R.I., Weber, K., Padowski, J., Flörke, M., Schneider, C., Green, P.A., Gleeson, T., Eckman, S., Lehner, B., Balk, D., Boucher, T., Grill, G., Montgomery, M. (2014). Water on an urban planet: Urbanization and the reach of urban water infrastructure. Global Environmental Change 27, 96-105. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.04.022 (open access)

Grill, G., Ouellet Dallaire, C., Fluet-Chouinard, E., Sindorf, N., Lehner, B. (2014): Development of new indicators to evaluate river fragmentation and flow regulation at large scales: a case study for the Mekong River Basin. Ecological Indicators 45: 148-159. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.03.026


Lehner, B., Nicell, J., Grill, G., Khan, U., Ariwi, J. (2013): Down-the-drain geospatial fate model for substances in consumer products – a pilot study for the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Montreal, QC, Canada, 63pp. [download]

Lehner, B., Grill G. (2013): Global river hydrography and network routing: baseline data and new approaches to study the world’s large river systems. Hydrological Processes, 27(15): 2171–2186. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9740.

McDowell, G., Ford, J.D., Lehner, B., Berrang-Ford, L., Sherpa, A. (2013): Climate-related hydrological change and human vulnerability in remote mountain regions: a case study from Khumbu, Nepal. Regional Environmental Change. 13(2): 299–310. doi: 10.1007/s10113-012-0333-2.

Huziy, O., Sushama, L., Khaliq, M.N., Laprise, R., Lehner, B., Roy R. (2013): Analysis of streamflow characteristics over Northeastern Canada in a changing climate. Climate Dynamics. 40(7-8): 1879–1901. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1406-0.


Wood, E.F., Roundy, J.K., Troy, T.J., van Beek, R., Bierkens, M., Blyth, E., de Roo, A., Döll, P., Ek, M., Famiglietti, J., Gochis, D., van de Giesen, N., Houser, P., Jaffé, P.R., Kollet, S., Lehner, B., Lettenmaier, D.P., Peters-Lidard, C., Sivapalan, M., Sheffield, J., Wade, A., Whitehead, P. (2012): Reply to comment by K.J. Beven and H.L. Cloke on “Hyper-resolution global land surface modeling: Meeting a grand challenge for monitoring Earth’s terrestrial water“. Water Resources Research, 48: W01802. DOI: 10.1029/2011WR011202.

Mehdi, B.B., Ludwig, R., Lehner, B. (2012): Determining agricultural land use scenarios in a mesoscale Bavarian watershed for modeling future water quality. Advances in Geosciences, 31: 9–14.

Verzano, K., Bärlund, I., Flörke, M., Lehner, B., Kynast, E., Voß, F., Alcamo, J. (2012): Modeling variable river flow velocity on continental scale: Current situation and climate change impacts in Europe. Journal of Hydrology, 424–425: 238–251.


Wood, E.F., Roundy, J.K., Troy, T.J., van Beek, R., Bierkens, M., Blyth, E., de Roo, A., Döll, P., Ek, M., Famiglietti, J., Gochis, D., van de Giesen, N., Houser, P., Jaffé, P.R., Kollet, S., Lehner, B., Lettenmaier, D.P., Peters-Lidard, C., Sivapalan, M., Sheffield, J., Wade, A., Whitehead, P. (2011): Hyper-resolution global land surface modeling: Meeting a grand challenge for monitoring Earth’s terrestrial water. Water Resources Research, 47: W05301. DOI: 10.1029/2010WR010090

Lehner, B., Reidy Liermann, C., Revenga, C., Vörösmarty, C., Fekete, B., Crouzet, P., Döll, P., Endejan, M., Frenken, K., Magome, J., Nilsson, C., Robertson, J., Rödel, R., Sindorf, N., Wisser, D. (2011): High- resolution mapping of the world’s reservoirs and dams for sustainable river-flow management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9(9): 494–502. DOI: 10.1890/100125

Abell, R., Thieme, M., Lehner, B. (2011): Indicators for assessing threats to freshwater biodiversity from humans and human-shaped landscapes. In: Cincotta, R.P., Gorenflo, L.J. (eds.): Human population: its influences on biological diversity. Ecological Studies 214, Chapter 7: 103-124, Springer-Verlag, BerlinHeidelberg.

Lehner, B., Grill, G., Ouellet Dallaire, C., Fluet-Chouinard, E. (2011): Ecosystem fragmentation and flow regulation in the MekongRiver Basin due to past and future dam development: a pilot study. Report submitted to World Wildlife Fund, Greater Mekong Region, Vientiane, Laos, 32pp.

Lehner, B. (2011): Derivation of watershed boundaries for GRDC gauging stations based on the HydroSHEDS drainage network. GRDC Report Series No. 41. Global Runoff Data Centre, Koblenz, Germany, 12pp.


Thieme, M.L., Lehner, B., Abell, R., Matthews, J. (2010): Exposure of Africa’s freshwater biodiversity to a changing climate. Conservation Letters, 3(5): 324–331.

Richter, B.D., Postel, S., Revenga, C., Scudder, T., Lehner, B., Churchill, A., Chow, M. (2010): Lost in development’s shadow: The downstream human consequences of dams. Water Alternatives, 3(2): 14–42.


Naidoo, R., Balmford, A., Costanza, R., Fisher, B., Green, R.E., Lehner, B., Malcolm, T.R., Ricketts, T.H. (2008): Global mapping of ecosystem services and conservation priorities. PNAS, 105(28): 9495–9500.

Lehner, B., Verdin, K., Jarvis, A. (2008): New global hydrograhy derived from spaceborne elevation data. Eos, Transactions, AGU, 89(10): 93-94. Link


Thieme, M., Lehner, B., Abell, R., Hamilton, S.K., Kellndorfer, J., Powell, G., Riveros, J.C. (2007): Freshwater conservation planning in data-poor areas: An example from a remote Amazonian basin (Madre de Dios River, Peru and Bolivia). Biological Conservation, 135: 500-517.

Abell, R., Allan, J.D., Lehner, B. (2007): Unlocking the potential of protected areas for freshwaters. Biological Conservation, 134: 48-63.


Lehner, B., Verdin, K., Jarvis, A. (2006): Hydrological data and maps based on Shuttle elevation derivatives at multiple scales (HydroSHEDS) – Technical Documentation. World Wildlife Fund US, Washington, DC. 27pp. Available at

Hamilton, S.K., Kellndorfer, J., Lehner, B., Tobler, M. (2006): Remote sensing of floodplain geomorphology as a surrogate for habitat diversity in a tropical river system (Madre de Dios, Peru). Geomorphology, 89(2007): 23-38.

Pittock, J., Lehner, B., Lifeng, L. (2006): River basin management to conserve wetlands and water resources. In: Bobbink, R., Beltman, B., Verhoeven, J.T.A., Wigham, D.F. (eds.): Wetlands: functioning, biodiversity conservation, and restoration. Chapter 8: 169-196, Springer-Verlag.

Lehner, B., Döll, P., Alcamo, J., Henrichs, T., Kaspar, F. (2006): Estimating the impact of global change on flood and drought risks in Europe: a continental, integrated analysis. Climatic Change, 75(3): 273-299.


Thieme, M.L., Abell, R.A., Stiassny, M.L.J., Skelton, P. H., Lehner, B., Teugels, G.G., Dinerstein, E., Kamdem-Toham, A., Burgess, N., Olson, D.M. (eds.): Freshwater ecoregions of Africa: a conservation assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Lehner, B., Czisch, G., Vassolo, S. (2005): The impact of global change on the hydropower potential of Europe: a model-based analysis. Energy Policy, 33(7): 839-855.


Lehner, B., Döll, P. (2004): Development and validation of a global database of lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. Journal of Hydrology 296(1-4): 1-22.

Abell, R., Thieme, M., Lehner, B. (2004). Ecoregion conservation for freshwater systems, with a focus on large rivers. In Welcomme, R., Petr, T. (eds.): Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on the Management of Large Rivers for Fisheries. Volume II. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. RAP Publication 2004/17, pp. 1-14.

Batima, P., Batnasan, N., Lehner, B. (2004): Freshwater systems of the Great Lakes Basin, Mongolia: Opportunities and challenges in the face of climate change. WWF Mongolia Programme Office, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Admon Printing, ISBN 99929-0-279-5, 95 pp.

Lehner, B.L. (2004): Estimating the effect of global change on European water resources and hydrology: enhancement and application of a global water model. PhD thesis (book and CD), University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 197 pp.

Alcamo, J., Döll, P., Henrichs, T., Kaspar, F., Lehner, B., Rösch, T., Siebert, S. (2003a): Development and testing of the WaterGAP 2 global model of water use and availability. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 48(3): 317–337.

Alcamo, J., Döll, P., Henrichs, T., Kaspar, F., Lehner, B., Rösch, T., Siebert, S. (2003b): Global estimates of water withdrawals and availability under current and future “business-as-usual” conditions. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 48(3): 339–349.


Döll, P., Kaspar, F., Lehner, B. (2003): A global hydrological model for deriving water availability indicators: model tuning and validation. Journal of Hydrology, 270: 105–134.


Döll, P., Lehner, B. (2002): Validation of a new global 30-min drainage direction map. Journal of Hydrology, 258: 214-231.

Henrichs, T., Lehner, B., Alcamo, J. (2002): An integrated analysis of changes in water stress in Europe. Integrated Assessment, 3 (1): 15-29.

Döll, P., Lehner, B., Kaspar, F. (2002): Global modeling of groundwater recharge. In Schmitz, G.H. (ed.): Proceedings of Third International Conference on Water Resources and the Environment Research, Technical University of Dresden, Germany, ISBN 3-934253-17-2, Vol. I: 27-31.

2001 and prior

Lehner, B., Henrichs, T., Döll, P., Alcamo, J. (eds.) (2001): EuroWasser – Model-based assessment of European water resources and hydrology in the face of global change. Kassel World Water Series, Vol. 5, 124 pp. Center for Environmental Systems Research, University of Kassel, Germany.

Lehner, B., Döll, P., Kaspar, F. (2001): Vergleich von hydrologischen Modellen auf unterschiedlichen Skalenebenen am Beispiel Elbe und Oder. In: Sutmöller, J., Raschke, E. (eds.): Modellierung in meso- bis makroskaligen Flußeinzugsgebieten – Tagungsband zum gleichnamigen Workshop am 16./17. November 2000 in Lauenburg, GKSS Research Center, Geesthacht, GKSS 2001/15: 160-171.

Döll, P., Kaspar, F., Lehner, B. (2001): Calibration of a global hydrological model against measured discharge. In: Dolman, H., Pomeroy, J., Oki, T., Hall, A. (eds.): Soil–Vegetation–Atmosphere Transfer Schemes and Large-Scale Hydrological Models, IAHS Publication, 270: 143-149.

Lehner, B., Alcamo, J., Döll, P., Kaspar, F. (2000): Towards a global perspective on the risk of river floods. In: Toensmann, F., Koch M. (eds.): River Flood Defence. Int. Symposium on River Flood Defence, Kassel Reports of Hydraulic Engineering, No. 9/2000, Vol. 1: D-23 – D-32, Herkules Verlag.

Döll, P., Lehner, B., Kaspar, F. (2000): Global modeling of groundwater recharge and surface runoff. EcoRegio, 8: 73-80.

Demuth, S., Lehner, B., Stahl, K. (2000): Assessment of the Vulnerability of a River System to Drought. In: Vogt, J.V., Somma, F. (eds.): Drought and Drought Mitigation in Europe. Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research, Vol. 14: 209-219, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Lehner, B. (1998): Automated Generation of a Topologic River Network System Within a GIS. In: Strobl, J., Dollinger, F. (eds): Angewandte Geographische Informationsverarbeitung. Beiträge zum AGITSymposium Salzburg 1998: 195-201, Wichmann Verlag, Heidelberg.