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Global Dam Watch: curated data and tools for management and decision making

Mark Mulligan, Bernhard Lehner, Christiane Zarfl, Michele Thieme, Penny Beames, Arnout van Soesbergen, Jonathan Higgins, Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley Orcid Logo, Kate A Brauman, Luca De Felice, Qingke Wen, Carlos Garcia De Leaniz Orcid Logo, Barbara Belletti, Lisa Mandle, Xiao Yang, Jida Wang, Nick Mazany-Wright

Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, Volume: 1, Issue: 3, Start page: 033003

Swansea University Authors: Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley Orcid Logo, Carlos Garcia De Leaniz Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Dams, reservoirs, and other water management infrastructure provide benefits, but can also have negative impacts. Dam construction and removal affects progress toward the UN sustainable development goals at local to global scales. Yet, globally-consistent information on the location and characterist...

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Published in: Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability
ISSN: 2634-4505
Published: IOP Publishing 2021
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58855
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Abstract: Dams, reservoirs, and other water management infrastructure provide benefits, but can also have negative impacts. Dam construction and removal affects progress toward the UN sustainable development goals at local to global scales. Yet, globally-consistent information on the location and characteristics of these structures are lacking, with information often highly localised, fragmented, or inaccessible. A freely available, curated, consistent, and regularly updated global database of existing dams and other instream infrastructure is needed along with open access tools to support research, decision-making and management needs. Here we introduce the Global Dam Watch (GDW) initiative (www.globaldamwatch.org ) whose objectives are: (a) advancing recent efforts to develop a single, globally consistent dam and instream barrier data product for global-scale analyses (the GDW database); (b) bringing together the increasingly numerous global, regional and local dam and instream barrier datasets in a directory of databases (the GDW directory); (c) building tools for the visualisation of dam and instream barrier data and for analyses in support of policy and decision making (the GDW knowledge-base) and (d) advancing earth observation and geographical information system techniques to map a wider range of instream structures and their properties. Our focus is on all types of anthropogenic instream barriers, though we have started by prioritizing major reservoir dams and run-of-river barriers, for which more information is available. Our goal is to facilitate national-scale, basin-scale and global-scale mapping, analyses and understanding of all instream barriers, their impacts and their role in sustainable development through the provision of publicly accessible information and tools. We invite input and partnerships across sectors to strengthen GDW’s utility and relevance for all, help define database content and knowledge-base tools, and generally expand the reach of GDW as a global hub of impartial academic expertise and policy information regarding dams and other instream barriers.
Keywords: global, dam, data, tools
College: College of Science
Funders: WWF International Grant: WWF Innovation Fund Identifier: doi https://doi.org/10.13039/501100005201 National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center Grant: DBI-1639145 Identifier: doi https://doi.org/10.13039/100014262 European Regional Development Fund Grant: 80761-SU-140 Identifier: doi https://doi.org/10.13039/501100008530
Issue: 3
Start Page: 033003