01 Jun 2022
01 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A comprehensive geospatial database of nearly 100,000 reservoirs in China

Chunqiao Song1, Chenyu Fan1,2, Jingying Zhu1,2, Jida Wang3, Yongwei Sheng4, Kai Liu1, Tan Chen1, Pengfei Zhan1,2, Shuangxiao Luo1,2, and Linghong Ke5 Chunqiao Song et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 3Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
  • 4Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
  • 5College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China

Abstract. With rapid population growth and socioeconomic development over the last century, a great number of dams/reservoirs have been constructed globally to meet various needs. China has strong economical and societal demands for constructing dams and reservoirs. The official statistics reported more than 98,000 dams/reservoirs in China, including nearly 40 % of the world’s large dams. Despite the availability of several global-scale dam/reservoir databases (e.g., the Global Reservoir and Dam database (GRanD), the GlObal geOreferenced Database of Dams (GOODD), and the Georeferenced global Dams And Reservoirs (GeoDAR)), these databases have insufficient coverage of reservoirs in China, especially for small and newly constructed ones. The lack of reservoir information impedes the estimation of water budgets and evaluation of dam impacts on hydrologic and nutrient fluxes for China and its downstream countries. Therefore, we presented the China Reservoir Dataset (CRD), which contains 97,435 reservoir polygons as well as fundamental attribute information (e.g., name and storage capacity) based on existing dam/reservoir products, national basic geographic datasets, multi-source open map data, and multi-level governmental yearbooks and databases. The reservoirs in compiled CRD have a total maximum water inundation area of 50,085.21 km2 and a total storage capacity of about 979.62 Gt (924.96–1060.59 Gt). The quantity of reservoirs decreases from the southeast to the northwest, and the density hotspots mainly occur in hilly regions and large plains, with the Yangtze River Basin dominating in reservoir count, area, and storage capacity. We found that these spatial accumulations of reservoirs are closely related to China’s socioeconomic development and the implementation of major policies. Finally, we discussed the improvements of CRD in comparison with GOODD, GeoDAR, and GRanD datasets. CRD has significantly improved the reservoir count, area, and storage capacity in China, especially for reservoirs smaller than 1 km2. The CRD database provides more comprehensive reservoir spatial and attribute information and is expected to benefit water resources managements and the understanding of ecological and environmental impacts of dams across China and its affected transboundary basins.

Chunqiao Song et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-179', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Jun 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-179', Dai Yamazaki, 01 Jul 2022

Chunqiao Song et al.

Data sets

China Reservoir Dataset (CRD) Chunqiao Song, Chenyu Fan, Jingying Zhu, Jida Wang, Yongwei Sheng, Kai Liu, Tan Chen, Pengfei Zhan, Shuangxiao Luo, Linghong Ke

Chunqiao Song et al.


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Short summary
Over the last century, many dams/reservoirs have been built globally to meet various needs. The official statistics reported more than 98,000 dams/reservoirs in China. Despite the availability of several global-scale dam/reservoir databases, these databases have insufficient coverage in China. Therefore, we presented the CRD, which contains 97,435 reservoir polygons. The CRD reservoirs have a total area of 50,085.21 km2 and total storage of about 979.62 Gt.