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The Global Lakes and Wetlands Database (GLWD) version 2 provides a comprehensive and seamless global map of inland surface waters distinguished into 33 waterbody and wetland types. GLWD v2 was developed by harmonizing the best available ground- and satellite-based data sources and has been designed to represent the maximum non-overlapping extents of aquatic ecosystems over the broad contemporary period of 1990-2020.

GLWD v2 represents a total of 18.2 million km2 of wetlands at a grid cell resolution of 15 arc-seconds (approximately 500 m at the equator). The data consists of a map of the dominant waterbody or wetland type in each grid cell, as well as 33 individual class layers which represent the sub-cell fraction of each specific class within each grid cell.

Version 2 of GLWD is the successor of the widely-used GLWD version 1 (Lehner & Döll, 2004). The quality, resolution, and format of GLWD v2 significantly improves upon GLWD v1 and supersedes the older version.

Global map of waterbody and wetland classes. Peatland (brown) classes are dominant in northern areas and Southeast Asia; paddy rice is dominant in South and East Asia; riverine floodplain classes are prominent globally, particularly near major rivers in South America and South and East Asia.

Technical Documentation

For more information on GLWD v2 please refer to the GLWD v2 technical documentation.


GLWD version 2 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 International License.

By downloading and using the data the user agrees to the terms and conditions of this license.


Lehner, B., Anand, M., Fluet-Chouinard, E., Tan, F., Aires, F., Allen, G.H., Bousquet, P., Canadell, J.G., Davidson, N., Finlayson, C.M., Gumbricht, T., Hilarides, L., Hugelius, G., Jackson, R.B., Korver, M.C., McIntyre, P.B., Matthews, E., Nagy, S., Olefeldt, D., Pavelsky, T., Pekel, J.-F., Poulter, B., Prigent, C., Wang, J., Worthington, T.A., Yamazaki, D., Thieme, M. (in preparation). Mapping the world’s inland waters: an update to the Global Lakes and Wetlands Database (GLWD v2).

Data download

The delta version of GLWD v2 is available for download on Figshare.

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