The biggest challenge in closing a water balance for a watershed has always been quantification of evapotranspiration. It is so difficult to get an accurate estimate that it is often assigned as the residual of known inputs minus known outputs. However, with a changing climate driving hydrological processes in changing landscapes, it is becoming increasingly important to have a measure of ET that is defensible. The USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5087 is a valuable reference for the current state of the art of ET modeling.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2017/5087/sir20175087.pdf

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