[Tagging] Evaporation ponds

Brian M. Sperlongano zelonewolf at gmail.com
Thu Jan 14 05:24:53 UTC 2021

I have been investigating the objects that are currently tagged
reservoir_type=evaporator to understand how those features fit in our
emerging definition[1] of "reservoir".  This is a small category at present
(442 objects), and they seems to fit into the following categories:

1. Possible tailings ponds mis-tagged as evaporation reservoirs
2. Industrial ponds associated with chemical production (potash is a common
3. Basins associated with water purification
4. Man-made rectangular/polygonal bodies of water with unclear usage

I've compiled a list of examples[2] for inspection.

Presumably, the purpose of an evaporator pond/basin is to evaporate water
from a solution, leaving behind a precipitate which is harvested.  The most
obvious usage is a salt pond, which already has its own dedicated tag in

The question is two-fold:

1. Would we consider any of these features to be "reservoirs"?

2. If evaporation ponds are NOT reservoirs, how should they be tagged?

It seems that we need new tags.  The options that come to mind are
basin=evaporation (combined with either landuse=basin or
natural=water+water=basin).  Note that the "landuse=basin" version is quite
reasonable here if there is a wet->dry->harvest cycle.

The other option is new tagging under the man_made=* key, similar to what
we did with the tailings ponds proposal[3].

If new tagging is created for evaporator, I would suggest also that the key
resource=* be used to tag the specific precipitate that the evaporation
pond is being used to extract.

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Reservoir
[2] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:ZeLonewolf/Analysis/Evaporator
[3] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Tailings_pond
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