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HydroWASTE is a spatially explicit global database of 58,502 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and their characteristics. This database was developed by combining national and regional datasets with auxiliary information to derive or complete missing characteristics, including the amount of people served, the flow rate of effluents, and the level of treatment of processed wastewater. The HydroSHEDS river network with streamflow estimates was used to geo-reference plant outfall locations and to assess the distribution of wastewaters at a global scale. All wastewater treatment plants are co-registered to the global river network of the HydroRIVERS database via their estimated outfall locations.

Global map of wastewater treatment plant distribution, colored by population served. Points in red serve over 500,000 people, points in blue serve between 50,000 and 500,000 people, and points in black serve fewer than 50,000 people.

Technical Documentation

The HydroWASTE database is fully documented in Ehalt Macedo et al. (2022), see References below.


The HydroWASTE database 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.


Ehalt Macedo, H., Lehner, B., Nicell, J., Grill, G., Li, J., Limtong, A., Shakya, R. (2022). Distribution and characteristics of wastewater treatment plants within the global river network. Earth System Science Data, 14(2): 559–577.

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Download HydroWASTE (2.3MB).

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