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Public-images-osm logo.svg landuse = reservoir
An artificial lake which may be used to store water. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Base layer water.png
Group: Landuse
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Useful combination
Status: in use

Man made body of stored water. May be covered or uncovered. Usually formed by a dam over a natural water course, water then backs up into a natural valley or depression.

There was considerable confusion whether landuse=reservoir is deprecated, but it turned out to be not deprecated and landuse=reservoir is used more widely than "new" way natural=water + water=reservoir.

It may be a good idea to tag the actual water body with natural=water + water=reservoir in addition or instead of landuse=reservoir. See also the approved water details proposal and pointers to discussion on talk page.

Currently most renderers will interpret and draw landuse=reservoir as a visible open water area.

How to tag

Begin by placing a node or a closed way on the map, and tagging it with

Tag Description
landuse=reservoir A man-made body of stored water.

It sometimes makes sense to add the following tags:

Tag Description
name=* The name of the reservoir, if known.
covered=yes/no Whether the reservoir is covered[1], typically buried underground.
natural=water + water=reservoir Can be added if the reservoir is also a body of open water.


Blue area.

Osmarender has different rendering rules using the key reservoir_type=*:


  • approved and active: water details proposal which provide alternative tagging.
  • in mail discussions the wish was formulated to create a tagging scheme covering areas and objects related to water reservoirs (a superset of the current definition). Although it might seem logical to use landuse=reservoir for such purpose this would conflict with the current widely used definitions and another tagging scheme should be proposed instead.

See also


  1. Example: Stroud Green (covered reservoir) on Wikimedia Commons