Global Hydropower Dams (> 1 MW) under Construction or Planned

Global Hydropower Dams (> 1 MW) under Construction or Planned

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This map highlights the major boom in hydropower dam construction that already counts at least 3,700 large hydropower dams (> 1 MW) under construction or planned. The map and database can serve as a resource supporting prioritization and decision making to reduce the environmental impact of hydropower dam projects.


Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries

University of Tübingen

Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen

University of Osnabrück

Institute of Environmental Systems Research, University of Osnabrück

see also:

Zarfl, C., Lumsdon, A. E., Berlekamp J., Tydecks, L., Tockner, K. (2015). A global boom in hydropower dam construction. Aquatic Sciences 77:161-170 DOI: 10.1007/s00027-014-0377-0 (link).

with support provided by: SMART and BioFresh project



Christiane Zarfl email, Alexander E. Lumsdon, Jürgen Berlekamp, Laura Tydecks & Klement Tockner


Christiane Zarfl email
Center for Applied Geosciences
University of Tübingen
Tübingen, Germany

Related Publications

  • Constantine, J.A., Dunne, T., Ahmed, J., Legleiter, C., Lazarus, E.D. (2014). Sediment supply as a driver of river meandering and floodplain evolution in the Amazon Basin. Nat. Geosci. 1–5. doi:10.1038/ngeo2282.
  • Grill G., Lehner B., Lumsdon A. E., MacDonald G. K., Zarfl C., Liermann C. R. (2015) An index-based framework for assessing patterns and trends in river fragmentation and flow regulation by global dams at multiple scales. Environ. Res. Lett. 10, 015001.
  • Richter, B.D., Postel, S., Revenga, C., Lehner, B., Churchill, A. (2010). Lost in Development ’ s Shadow : The Downstream Human Consequences of Dams. Water Altern. 3, 14–42.
  • The World Bank (2014a) Database World Development Indicators ‘‘Electricity production from renewable sources, excluding hydroelectric (kWh)’’. EG.ELC.RNWX.KH.
  • The World Bank (2014b) Database World Development Indicators ‘‘Electricity production from hydroelectric sources (kWh)’’.
  • UNEP (2012) The Future We Want. Outcome Document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20).
  • Winemiller K. O., McIntyre P.B., Castello L., Fluet-Chouinard E., Giarrizzo T.,  Nam S., Baird I. G., Darwall W., Lujan N. K., Harrison I., Stiassny M. L. J., Silvano R. A. M., Fitzgerald D. B., Pelicice F. M., Agostinho A. A., Gomes L. C., Albert J. S., Petrere Jr. M., Zarfl C., Mulligan M., Sullivan J. P., Arantes C. C., Sousa L. M., Koning A. A., Hoeinghaus D. J., Sabaj M., Lundberg J. G., Armbruster J., Petry P., Zuanon J., Torrente Vilara G., Snoeks J., Ou C, Pavanelli C. S., Akama A., van Soesbergen A., Sáenz L. (2016) Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo and Mekong. Science 352, 128-129.
  • Zarfl C., Lumsdon A. E., Berlekamp J., Tydecks L., Tockner K. (2015). A global boom in hydropower dam construction. Aquatic Sciences 77, 161-170.

base layer references

  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (2011) World map of the major hydrological basins (derived from hydrosheds). Last accessed 18th Aug 2016


This research has been partially carried out within the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Program SMART ( funded by the EACEA and the EU-funded project BioFresh ( Dr. Ulrich Schwarz provided data for the Balkan region.

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