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New paper introducing the Global Dam Tracker

We published a new paper "Global Dam Tracker: A database of more than 35,000 dams with location, catchment, and attribute information" in Scientific Data (Nature Portfolio). Check it out!


Abstract

We present one of the most comprehensive geo-referenced global dam databases to date. The Global Dam Tracker (GDAT) contains 35,000 dams with cross-validated geo-coordinates, satellite-derived catchment areas, and detailed attribute information. Combining GDAT with fine-scaled satellite data spanning three decades, we demonstrate how GDAT improves upon existing databases to enable the inter-temporal analysis of the costs and benefits of dam construction on a global scale. Our findings show that over the past three decades, dams have contributed to a dramatic increase in global surface water coverage, especially in developing countries in Asia and South America. This is an important step toward a more systematic understanding of the worldwide impact of dams on local communities. By filling in the data gap, GDAT would help inform a more sustainable and equitable approach to energy access and economic development.


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