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Description. Blue colour. Difference with reservoir

Key Value Element Comment Example
landuse basin node area Other languages Landuse-basin.png
Either that translation link is wrong or the image is wrong. If the translation was right then the whole map should be blue, because all land is part of some catchment area. Can somebody give a better explanation for this one. And if it is what I think is meant, then what is the difference with 'landuse=reservoir'. --Cartinus 12:05, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I differ it that way:
- a reservoir is a waterarea which exists because a dam was build at the end of a valley, so the water can dam up (other word for storage lake).
- a basin is a waterarea in a man-made pool or container (e.g. the pools of wastewater-plants) --Cbm 05:02, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Can we clarify the meaning of the tag landuse=basin? The current definition, "An area of land which drains into a river." seems to be correct from the standpoint of the science of hydrology, but it is not a land use (since it describes a natural feature of the landscape, not how humans are using a particular plot of land).

A comment on the talk page suggests that landuse=basin may indicate a man-made pond with sharp borders, such as a sewage treatment pool. However, that is not a land use either, it is a man-made object.

After reading the description of the new tag, basin=infiltration, I suspect that landuse=basin means that a plot of land has been designated as a place for rainwater to pool and be held back so that it does not enter a river too quickly.

If this is so, then landuse=basin does not indicate that the land in question is always under water or even under water most of the time. Thus, the default rendering should be be solid blue, but rather blue raindrops as with landuse=basin, basin=infiltration.

What are your thoughts? How can these questions be resolved?

-- TomashPilshchik moved from Talk:Map Features. Yarl 18:52, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I only saw, that landuse=basin in combination with basin=* is not rendered well because of "double landuse" inside mainly dry basins ... So I changed rendering in Osmarender ... But reading shows, that definition of a basin might be much broader than infiltration/detention/... so rendering (and tagging) of basins may be correct for other cases? --Mueck 11:20, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I have corrected the definition and added brief descriptions for infiltration, detention and retention basins. Usage example: way 130353126. --T99 02:33, 18 September 2011 (BST)


Is this really used on non-area ways? Mrwojo (talk) 01:22, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

That seems to have been fixed (onWay=no now) -- Harry Wood (talk) 13:02, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Basins with masonry walls

Where I live, water for irrigation purposes is traditionally collected from springs, streams or rain inside of large vats (say, ten meters wide or long, two meters deep) which can be partly dug into the terrain, but more often they are enclosed in part or wholly by walls made of bricks (picture of an ancient one on Wikimedia Commons). They serve the same function as the basins pictured in this page, but they are more appropriate for dryer climates and harsher orography, so I expect them to be common in other Mediterranean countries as well. landuse=basin is already commonly used to tag these features (alongside landuse=reservoir for an unfortunate case of false cognates), but since I’m not a native English speaker I’d like some confirmation: is this tag appropriate even for features which technically aren’t built just by digging the ground but can involve masonry as well?

-- User:Pippinu 10:50, 22 April 2015‎


As an element of group landuse=*, shouldn't this be exclusively used on areas, and not on nodes? ---> onNode=no ? the tag landuse is clearly for areas only.

-- User:Gniourf 0:55, 24 January 2018

Meaning, what? Storm water only?

As I take it, these basins are mean for storm water. The use is to reduce the impact of large outflows caused by storm water. Is it only for storm water as suggested by the sub tags? The meaning needs to be much clearer. At the moment the definition includes dams... too broad. If things other than storm water treatments are allowed .. they should be a land use only i.e. human use of the land. Warin61 (talk) 10:44, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

Man made lakes?

I'm wondering about "An area of land artificially graded to hold water". This appears to include artificial lakes which visually and functionally are not really different from any "natural" lake (which could easily have been modified enough that it's practically no less "artificial") and which were perhaps created primarily for recreational purposes. Where do we draw the line? Personally I prefer to limit the use of landuse=basin to objects that visually appears rather "artificial", because of i.e. concrete walls. --Hjart (talk) 12:03, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

If the definition were to exclude the permanent holding of water this would remove lakes. Warin61 (talk) 22:27, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Usually most artificial lakes will be mapped as landuse=reservoir or natural=water + water=reservoir instead of landuse=basin. --Jeisenbe (talk) 04:09, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Render depends on basin=*

The rendering image was recently updated, but the new version isn't really more correct. Currently in OpenStreetMap-Carto the rendering varies based on the basin=* tag - basin=retention is rendered just like natural=water while basin=detention and basin=infiltration are rendered like natural=water + intermittent=yes - see --Jeisenbe (talk) 05:38, 17 December 2020 (UTC)


Given the increasing popularity of the natural=water, water=* schema for all inland water features, I propose the landuse=basin tag should be discouraged (Is there a template banner?). That there are currently ~230k 'landuse' vs ~130k 'water' isn't a valid reason to not improve the database, by conflating them into the 'water' tag, I believe.

Edit: I remembered landuse=reservoir has been flagged as depreciated. Maybe basin should be flagged similarly? --DaveF63 (talk) 20:18, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

All landuse=* to migrated to water=*. Ok then... landuse=grass to water=grass is fine by me! Well ... not really. The tag landuse=basin includes structures that don't habitually have water. Note that water=basin is not part of the original approved key/tag. Suggest wider discussion on the tagging list. Warin61 (talk) 06:28, 2 July 2022 (UTC)
The reason I'm always reluctant to use the tagging forum is provided above by you, who, deliberately misunderstands in order to be argumentative. Anyone who'd read my proposal diligently would have realised I was /clearly/ referring to 'basin' examples of landuse/water, *not* /all/.
"water=basin is not part of the original approved key/tag" < So what? That doesn't mean it can't be included now. --DaveF63 (talk) 16:05, 2 July 2022 (UTC)
I don't agree. Rainwater basins are a man-made feature that do not always contain water. They are not natural and they are not always "of water." The landuse=basin key was established to allow differentiation between natural water features and man-made stormwater management systems, as I understand it. Also, the different render based on the use of the basin= tag when coupled with landuse=basin allows for discrimination within the map legend. Furthermore, as Warin61 points out, your proposal encompasses schema not as yet approved and incorporated - and in my opinion should be rejected on the grounds that it needlessly narrows and generalises an established schema that allows detail mappers to discriminate between natural and man-made and in identifying the man-made to add specific discrete detail tagging to more properly and fully define the feature. It is also bad form to edit detailed tagging applied by the original mapper based on the current approved schema laid out in the wiki to your own desired schema before it is formally adopted. In my opinion such action is tantamount to vandalism. --John Grubb (talk) 01:16, 27 October 2022 (UTC)