Global Reservoir and Dam Database

The Global Reservoir and Dam Database, version 1.1, contains 6,862 records of reservoirs and their associated dams with a cumulative storage capacity of 6,197 cubic km. The dams were geospatially referenced and assigned to polygons depicting reservoir outlines at high spatial resolution. Dams have multiple attributes, such as name of the dam and impounded river, primary use, nearest city, height, area and volume of reservoir, and year of construction (or commissioning). While the main focus was to include all dams associated with reservoirs that have a storage capacity of more than 0.1 cubic kilometers, some smaller dams and reservoirs were added where data were available. The data were compiled by Lehner et al. (2011) and are distributed by the Global Water System Project (GWSP) and by the Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). For details please refer to the Technical Documentation which is provided with the data.


Related media and animations


scientific publications

Lehner, B., C. Reidy Liermann, C. Revenga, C. Vörösmart, B. Fekete, P. Crouzet, P. Döll, M. Endejan, K. Frenken, J. Magome, C. Nilsson, J.C. Robertson, R. Rodel, N. Sindorf, and D. Wisser. 2011. High-Resolution Mapping of the World’s Reservoirs and Dams for Sustainable River-Flow Management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:494-502. DOI: 10.1890/100125.


The latest version of the GRanD database (version 1.3) is available from the Global Dam Watch website.

Project contact

For more information on this project contact Dr. Bernhard Lehner