Inventory of dams in Germany

Speckhann, Gustavo Andrei; Kreibich, Heidi; Merz, Bruno

Dams are an important element of water resources management. Data about dams are crucial for practitioners, scientists, and policymakers for various purposes, such as seasonal forecasting of water availability or flood mitigation. However, detailed information on dams on the national level for Germany is so far not freely available. We present the most comprehensive open-access dam inventory for Germany (DIG) to date. We have collected and combined information on dams using books, state agency reports, engineering reports, and internet pages. We have applied a priority rule that ensures the highest level of reliability for the dam information. Our dam inventory comprises 530 dams in Germany with information on name, location, river, start year of construction and operation, crest length, dam height, lake area, lake volume, purpose, dam structure, and building characteristics. We have used a global, satellite-based water surface raster to evaluate the location of the dams. A significant proportion (63 %) of dams were built between 1950–2013. Our inventory shows that dams in Germany are mostly single-purpose (52 %), 53 % can be used for flood control, and 25 % are involved in energy production. The inventory is freely available through GFZ (GeoForschungsZentrum) Data Services ( (Speckhann et al., 2020).



Speckhann, Gustavo Andrei / Kreibich, Heidi / Merz, Bruno: Inventory of dams in Germany. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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Rechteinhaber: Gustavo Andrei Speckhann et al.

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