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Key Value Comment
type waterway
waterway river, canal, stream... Really needed ? All part of waterway may have different type; but this can help distinguish main aspect of this waterway.
name Waterway name Optional but recommended


Type Role Recurrence Comment
way main_stream (or none) one or more waterway=river, waterway=canal, waterway=stream...
relation side_stream optional Same relation kind as this, a branch of main stream than return to it.

Ordered by end of side stream (integrated in tributary sort).

way side_stream optional waterway=river, waterway=canal, waterway=stream... a branch of main stream than return to it.
relation tributary optional Same relation kind as this, for direct tributary.

Ordered from upstream to downstream (integrated in side stream sort).

Recurse on tributary relation member allow rebuild of drainage basin from any part. Avoid need of relation type=watershed.

way tributary optional Way with waterway=*. Include way as role tributary only when this way is not part of an other type=waterway relation and the way is a direct tributary. This case is for short waterway in one way (like small stream). By construction, this relation schema don't allow tributary on tributary way.

Ordered from upstream to downstream.

relation riverbank optional Multipolygone of waterway like in Relations/Proposed/Rivers. Relation can have waterway=riverbank, but all way part of this relation already have it.
node spring optional natural=spring