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Global Dam Watch: curated data and tools for management and decision making
Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, Volume: 1, Issue: 3, Start page: 033003
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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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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.
global, dam, data, tools
College of Science
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