The land surface water budget describes how precipitation flows into water running into rivers and reservoirs, moisture added to the atmosphere (through evaporation and transpiration) or increases in soil moisture.

It  provides key information for agriculture, water resource planning and flood forecasting.

To predict how the nature of the water budget might change in the future, scientists need detailed information about how it has behaved in the past, so that the processes affecting its behaviour can be better understood.

This work focuses on estimating runoff into rivers and reservoirs on a grid covering the entire globe, by constraining a wide range of model estimates using observed estimates of river flow.

Together with a recent paper estimating evaporation and transpiration from the land surface, it brings the community a step closer to observationally constrained estimates of the historical land surface energy and water budgets.

  • Paper: Hobeichi, S., Abramowitz, G., Evans, J., and Beck, H. E.: Linear Optimal Runoff Aggregate (LORA): A global gridded synthesis runoff product, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,, 2018.