SOKOLOV
and T.G.CHAPMAN
1. The use of analog and digital computers in hydrology: Proceedings of the Tucson Sympo
sium, June 1966 / Lutilisation des calculatrices analogiques et des ordinateurs en hydro
logic: Act(= d u colloque de Tucson, juin 1966. Vol. 1 & 2. Coedition IAHSUnesco /
Coddition .4ISHUnesco.
2. Water in the unsaturated zone: Proceedings of the Wageningen Symposium, June 1967 /
Leau dans la zone non saturee: Actes du symposium de Wageningen, juin 1967. Edited
by /edit& par P.E. Rijtema &H.Wassink. Vol. 1 &2. Coedition IAHSUnesco / Coddition
A I S H Unesco.
3. Floods and their computation: Proceedings of the Leningrad Symposium, August 1967 /
Les crues et leur evaluation :Actes du colloque de Leningrad, aoDt 1967. Vol. 1 & 2.
Coedition I A H S UnescoW M O / Coddition AISHUnescoOMM.
,4.Representative and experimental basins: A n international guide for research and practice.
Edited by C.Toebes and V. Ouryvaev. Published by Unesco.
4. Les bassins representatifs et experimentaux :Guide international des pratiques en matiere
de recherche. Publie sous la direction de C. Toebes et V. Ouryvaev. Publid par IUnesco.
5. *Discharge of selected rivers of the world / Debit de certain cours deau du monde.
Jublished by Unesco I Publid par I Unesco.
Vol. I: General and regime characteristics of stations selected / Caracteristiques gene
rales et caracteristiques du regime des stations choisies.
Vol. 11: Monthly and annual discharges recorded at various selected stations (from start
ofobservationsup to 1964) / Debits mensuels et annuels enregistres en diverses stations
selectiocnkes (de lorigine des observations a Iannk 1964).
Vol. 111: M e a n monthly and extreme discharges (19651969) / Debits mensuels moyens
et debits extremes (19651969). t v.E pt 3 .
6. List of International Hydrological Decade Stations of the world / Liste des stations de la
Decennie hydrologique internationale existant dans le monde. Published by Unesco /Publid
par IUnesco.
7. Groundwater studies: A n international guide for practice. Edited by R. Brown, J. Ineson,
V. Konoplyantsev and V. Kovalevski. (Willalso appear in French, Russian and Spanish /
Paraitra egalement en espagnol, en francais et en russe.)
8. Land subsidence: Proceedings of the Tokyo Symposium, September 1969 / Affaisement du
sol :Actes du colloque de Tokyo, septembre 1969. Vol. 1 &2. Coedition IAHSUnesco /
Coddition A I S H Unesco.
.9. Hydrology of deltas: Proceedings of the Bucharest Symposium, M a y 1969 / Hydrologie des
deltas :Actes du colloque de Bucarest, mai 1969. Vol. 1 &2. Coedition IAHSUnesco /
Coddition A I S H Unesco.
10. Status and trends of research in hydrology / Bilan et tendances de la recherche en hydro
logie. Published by Unesco / Publid par I Unesco.
11. World water balance: Proceedings of the Reading Symposium, July 1970 / Bilan hydrique
6) mondial :Actes du colloque de Reading, juillet 1970. Vol. 13. Coedition IAHSUnesco
W M O / Coddition AISHUnescoOMM.
12. Results of research on representative and experimental basins: Proceedings of the Wellington
Symposium, December 1970 / RCsultats de recherches sur les bassins representatifs et
experimentaux :Actes du colloque de Wellington, dbembre 1970. Vol. 1 & 2. Coedition
I A H S Unesco / CoPdition AISHUnesco.
13. Hydrometry: Proceedings of the Koblenz Symposium, September 1970/ Hydromktrie: Actes
d u colloque decoblence,septembre 1970. Coedition I A H S UnescoW M O / Coddition A I S H
UnescoOMM.
14. Hydrologic information systems. Coedition UnescoWMO.
15. Mathematical models in hydrology: Proceedings of the Warsaw Symposium, July 1971/
Les modbles mathematiques en hydrologie : Actes du colloque de Varsovie, juillet 1971.
Vol. 13. Coedition IAHSUnescoW M O / Coddition AISHUnescoOMM.
16. Design of water resources projects with inadequate data: Proceedings of the Madrid Sym
posium, June 1973 / elaboration des projets dutilisation des resources en eau sans donnCes
sufisantes :Actes du colloque de Madrid, juin 1973. Vol. 13. Coedition U n e s c o  W M O 
I A H S / Coddition U n e s c o  O M M  A I S H .
17. Methods for water balance computations. A n international guide for research and practice.
Published by Unesco.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the
expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the publishers concerning the legal status of any
country or territory, or of its authorities. or concerning the frontiers of any country or territory.
Published by
The Unesco Press
Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris
ISBN 9231012274
0 Unesco 1974
Printed in France
P R E F A C E
Foreword 11
1. Introduction 13
1.1 Objectives and importance of water balance
studies 13
1.2 Purpose and scope of the report 13
1 3 Terminology 14
1.4 Symbols 14
2. The water balance equation. 17
2,l General form of the water balance equation 17
2.2 Other forms of the water balance equation 17
2.3 Special features of the water balance equation
for different time intervals. 18
2.4 Special features of the water balance equation
for water bodies of different dimensions 18
2.5 Closing of the water balance equation 19
2.6 Units for the components of the water balance
equations. 19
3. Methods of computation of the main water balance
components a 21
3.1 Basic data 21
3.1.1 Maps and atlases 21
3.2 Precipitation 21
3.2.1 General 21
3.2.2 Measurement of precipitation at a point
and correction of measured precipitation. 22
3.2.3 Computatfon of mean precipitation over an
area. 23
3.2.3.1 lsohyetal maps 23
3 2 4 Special features. 24
3.3 River runoff. 24
3.3.1 Normal runoff and selection of the water
balance period.
3.32 Computation of normal runoff using observational
data 25
3.3.2.1 Graphical method 25
3.3 2 2 Analytical method 26
3.3.3 Computation of normal runoff without
observational data. 28
3.3.3.1 Computation of normal runoff from a
map of isolines. 28
3.3.3.2 Computation of normal runoff by the
analogue method. 39
3.3.3.3 Computation of normal runoff by the
water and heat balance equation. 30
3.3.4 Maps of runoff isolines. 30
3.3.5 Separation of the runoff hydrograph into
components. 34
3.4 Evaporation. 37
3.4.1 General 37
3.4.1.1 List of symbols used only for evapor
ation . 37
Methods /m uylter bahnce compukrtions
11
Methods for m t e r bokance compututions
12
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Objectives and importance of water balance studies.
Water balance techniques, one of the main subjects in hydrology,
are a means of solution of important theoretical and practical
hydrological problems. On the basis of the water balance approach
it is possible to make a quantitative evaluation of water resources
and their change under the influence of man's activities.
The study of the water balance structure of lakes, river basins,
and groundwater basins forms a basis for the hydrological substan
tiation of projects for the rational use, control and redistribution
of water resources in time and space (e.g. interbasin transfers,
streamflow control, etc.). Knowledge of the water balance assists the
prediction of the consequences of artificial changes in the regime
of streams, lakes , and groundwater basins.
Current information on the water balance of river and lake
basins for short time intervals (season, month, week and day) is
used for operational management of reservoirs and for the compila
tion of hydrological forecasts for water management.
An understanding of the water balance is also extremely impor
tant for studies of the hydrological cycle. With water balance
data it is possible to compare individual sources of water in a
system, over different periods of time, and to establish the degree
of their effect on variations in the water regime.
Further , the initial analysis used to compute individual water
balance components, and the coordination of these components in
the balance equation make it possible to identify deficiencies in
the distribution of observational stations, and to discover syste
matic errors of measurements.
Finally, water balance studies provide an indirect evaluation
of an unknown water balance component from the difference between
the known components (e.g. longterm evaporation from a river basin
may be computed by the difference between precipitation and runoff).
1.2 Purpose and scope of the report
This report is intended as an international manual for the computa
tion of water balances of river basins, land areas, and surface and
subsurface water bodies. It is expected that the report will be
most useful in developing countries and other regions where lack of
data or other circumstances have prevented the computation of water
balances. The background knowledge assumed in the reader is that
of a graduate scientist or engineer, preferably with an elementary
understanding of hydrological terms and practices.
The basic purpose of the report is to establish, as far as
possible, unified principles and methods which may be applied in
different countries to compute the water balance and its components
Such unified methods are essential for the computation of the water
balances of international river basins, and of large regions cover
ing the territory of several countries. The methods described in
the report do not however account for all possible variations in
environment and natural features, and therefore do not eliminate the
need for tests and experimental studies in some circumstances, as
13
Methods fw mater bahnce compututions
1.3 Terminology
The report uses the terminology usually applied in international
hydrological practice (Chebotarev, 1970; UNESCOWMO , 1969;
Gidrometeoizdat, 1970; Toebes and Ouryvaev, 1970).
1.4 Symbols
Symbols used in this report have been carefully selected to form a
consistent unambiguous set that is as far as possible in conformity
with other publications (UNESCO, 1971) and international standards
(IUPAP, 1965).
The units given are recommended units, and are consistent with
the values of constants quoted. As a result, the presentation of
empirical equations may differ in appearance from the author's
original formulat ion.
Symbols of specialized quantities, which are restricted to one
section of the report, are listed separately from those which occur
frequently in the text.
Many symbols are modified by the use of subscripts, to indicate
a more particular meaning. Modifiers which are used frequently are
listed separately below. Numerical subscripts and primes (I) have
meanings which are defined locally in the text.
General Modifiers
r
Type Symbol Meaning
General Symbols
Symbol Meaning
a part of an area
A area (of a drainage basin)
CS skew coefficient
CV coefficient of variation (See
section 4)
E evaporation (including transpira
t ion) m
g acceleration due to gravity m/sec2
G groundwater storage m
I irrigation flow mm
M moisture in soil and unsaturated
zone mm
n number of terms in a series 
P pr ec ip itat ion actually received m
at the ground surface
Q runoff or total flow mm
S standard deviation of water
balance component mm
S water storage, expressed as a m
mean depth
T water balance period various
Tr conventional residence time various
V water storage, expressed as a m3
volume
W water storage in the atmosphere m
11 residual term of water balance m
equation
15
2. THE WATER BALANCE EQUATION
2.1 General form of the water balance equation.
The study of the water balance is the application in hydrology of
the principle of conservation of mass, often referred to as the con
tinuity equation. This states that, for any arbitrary volurne and
during any period of time, the difference between total input and
output will be balanced by the change of water storage within the
volume. In general, therefore, use of a waterbalance technique
implies measurements of both storages and fluxes (rates of flow) of
Water, though by appropriate selection of the volume and period of
time for which the balance will be applied, some measurements may
be eliminated (UNESCO, 1971).
The water balance equation for any natural area (such as a
river basin) or water body indicates the relative values of inflow,
outflow and change in water storage for the area or body. In gen
eral, the inflow part of the water balance equation comprises pre
cipitation (P) as rainfall and snow actually received at the ground
surface, and surface and subsurface water inflow into the basin or
water body from outside (QS1 and QU1). The outflow part of the
equation includes evaporation from the surface of the water body (E)
and surface and subsurface outflow from the basin or water body
(Qso and Quo). When the inflow exceeds the outflow, the total
water storage in the body (AS) increases; an inflow less than the
outflow results in decreased storage. All the waterbalance com
ponents are subject to errors of measurement or estimation, and the
waterbalance equation should therefore include a discrepancy term
(11). Consequently the water balance for any water body and any
time interval in its general form may be represented by the follow
ing equation:
P + QSI + QU1 E   
Qso QUO As rl = 0 (11
2.2 Other forms of the water balance equation.
For application to a variety of Waterbalance computations equation
(1) may be simplified or made more complex, depending on the avail
able initial data, the purpose of the computation, the type of body
(river basin or artificially separated administrative district, lake
or reservoir, etc.), and the dimensions of the water body, its hydro
graphic and hydrologic features, the duration of the balance time
interval, and the phase of the hydrological regime (flood, low flow)
for which the water balance is computed.
In large river basins, QU1 and Quo are small compared with
other terms, and are therefore usually ignored, i.e. subsurface
water exchange with neighbouring basins is assumed to be zero. There
is no surface water inflow into a river basin with a distinct water
shed divide (assuming no artificial diversions from other basins) ,
and therefore QS1 is not included in the water balance equation of
a river basin. Thus for a river basin equation (1) is usually
simplified as follows :
P  E  Q  AS  = 0 (2)
where Q represents the river discharge from the basin.
17
Methods fbr water balance computations
where QS1 represents the net surface water diversion from other
basins.
2.3 Special features of the water balance equation for different
time intervals.
The water balance may be computed for any time interval, but dis
tinction may be made between mean water balances and balances or
specific periods (such as a year, season, month or number of days),
sometimes called current or operational water balances. Water bal
ance computations for mean values and specific periods each have
distinctive charact er ist ic s.
Mean water balances are usually computed for an annual cycle
(calendar year or hydrological year), although they may be computed
for any season or month.
The computation of the mean annual water balance is the most
simple water balance problem, since it is possible to disregard
changes in water storage in the basin (AS), which are difficult to
measure and compute. Over a long period, positive and negative
water storage variations for individual years tend to balance, and
their net value at the end of a long period may be assumed to be
zero.
The reverse situation occurs when computing the water balance
or short time intervals, for which AS # 0. The shorter the time
interval, the more precise are the requirements for measurement or
computation of the water balance components, and the more subdivided
should be the values of AS and other elements. This results in a
complex water balance equation which is difficult to close with
acceptable errors.
The term AS must also be considered in the computation of mean
water balances for seasons or months.
2.4 Special features of the water balance equation for water bodies
of different dimensions.
The water balance may be computed for water bodies of any size, but
the complexity of computation depends greatly on the extent of the
area under study.
A river basin Is the only natural area for which largescale
water balance computations can be simplified, since the accuracy of
computation increases with an increase in the river basin's area.
This is explained by the fact that the smaller the basin area, the
18
Water bakance equation
19
Methods for wter balance compututions
simple, e.g.
V=1000AS (41
where S is a storage expressed as a mean depth (mm), V is the same
storage expressed as a volume (m3), and A is the area of the basin
or water body (lan2).
20
3. METHODS OF COMPUTATION OF THE MAIN WATER BALANCE COMPONENTS
3.1 Basic data.
Records of precipitation and runoff from the network of stations
are the basic data for computation of the water balance components
of river basins for longterm periods. These records are publish
ed in hydrological and meteorological yearbooks, bulletins, etc.
To compute the water balance for individual years, seasons, or
months, it is necessary in addition to have data on water storage
variations in the basin. These are obtained from snow surveys,
observations of soil moisture, waterlevel fluctuations in lakes
and groundwater fluctuations in wells.
To compute the water balance of small areas with special fea
tures in the water balance (mountain glacier basins, large forest
areas, irrigated land, etc.), it is necessary in most cases to or
ganize a special programme of observations, e.g. observations of
glacier ablation, interception of precipitation, soil moisture, etc.
To compute evaporation it is desirable to have data from eva
poration pans or tanks and meteorological data on temperature,
humidity, wind, cloudiness, and radiation.
3.1.1 Maps and atlases
When there is an absence or shortage of observational data on pre
cipitation, runoff or evaporation in a river basin, regional maps
and atlases of mean values of these elements may be useful (Norden
son, 1968; GUGK and USSR Academy of Sciences 1964; WMO, 1970b;
Rainbird, 1967; Sokolov, 1961; Sokolov, 1968). With the help of
these isoline maps it is possible to determine the mean values of
precipitation, runoff and evaporation for any area by planimetering.
The principal methods for preparing these maps are described
in Sections3.2.3.1, 3.3.4 and 3.4.4; at this point it should be
noted that for waterbalance computations the maps of annual pre
cipitation, evaporation and runoff must be coordinated, i.e. pre
cipitation, minus evaporation and runoff, all evaluated by isoline
maps, must be equal to zero in conformity with the equation for
the mean water balance of a river basin (GUGK and USSR Academy of
Sciences, 1964) :
21
Methods for water balance computations
22
Computotion of Components
23
Methods fw water balance cornputotions
24
computution of ComQonents
o = 1 l" Qi
n i=1
where 0 is the normal runoff and Qi is the annual runoff in the
ith year of a longterm period of n years, such that further ex
tension of the series has only a slight affect on the value of Q.
A discussion of the accuracy of estimation of normal runoff
and its mean square root error is given in Section 4.2.
For the determination of mean longterm runoff it is essential
to have a period of observations which involves approximately the
same number of dry and wet cycles of river flow. The greater the
number of complete cycles of flow, the less will be the error of
estimation of normal runoff. Since cyclic runoff variations are
not synchronous for rivers separated by a great distance from each
other, the use of a uniform period of observations for the compila
tion of runoff maps is not feasible.
The appropriate period for rivers in the same hydrological re
~~ ~
25
Methods for water bakame computations
26
Computation of Components
Fig. 1. Relations between annual discharge per unit area of the Emba
river at Araltobe and the Ilek river at Aktubinsk and the
Temir river at Leninski.
27
Methodsfor water bakznce compututions
28
ComQutution of ComQonents
29
Methods for water balance computalions
30
Computation of Components
31
Methods fw water bokrnce c m ~ t u t i o n s
32
Computution of Components
33
Methods for water bakance computations
ley 
sult in the outflow of river water into the groundwater of the val
34
Computution of Components
cu
U
B
35
Methodsfor water balance computations
3
l
Il
0
3
W
0
?%
rd
U
bo
0
$4
a
2
G
0
.rl
U
(d
$4
(d
a
P)
CA
Compulotion of Components
I Symbol I Meaning
air
area (of lake)
back (radiation)
bottom (of lake)
depth (of lake)
gross (radiation)
net (radiation)
potential (evaporation)
pan or tank
roughness (vegetation)
she1ter
soil
water
height of observation
37
Methods for urater bakrnce computations
38
Compukztion of Components
Symbols
EL = K Ep (12)
where Ep is the evaporation from the pan or tank evaporimeter and
K is an empirical coefficient. It is normal to compute evaporimeter
coefficients on an annual basis, but in many comparison trials,
monthly coefficients have been computed.
39
Methodsfor water balance computations
= K'
e*L  eZ
E
e*
P
 e
Z
P
40
Computotion of components
monthly evaporation.
A comprehensive guide to available techniques, with over 400
references, is contained in Australian Water Resources Council
E = PL + AQ
S
41
Metbodsfor water balance computations
content of the water layer evaporated from the water body at the
given tem erature. Note that all terms must be related to unit
3
area (1 m )of the lake surface, i.e. each heat input or output for
the whole lake is divided by the lake surface area.
The net radiation (%) is given by
Rn=R (lr)R,,
g
where Rg is the gross incoming radiation (sum of direct and diffuse
solar radiation), r is the albedo of the water surface, and Rb is
the effective back longwave radiation from the water surface.
Equation (16) requires many careful measurements to establish
the values of the different terms. At present it is more suitable
for research studies than for general use.
Another application of the heat budget method, which makes use
of the Bowen ratio (Anderson, 1954; Harbeck et al, 1958; Webb,
1960, 1965), can be expressed in the form
%=cB 1 000 Rn
1+
AJ + AJs + Mu
+ (c/L) (eo  e,)
where c is the specific heat of water, is the average temperature
of the evaporating water, 8, is the average temperature of the water
inflow which replaces evaporated water, and 6 is the Bowen ratio,
defined by
'Cp AOa
B=,L ~e
where p is the atmospheric pressure, cp, is the specific heat of air
at constant pressure, E = 0.622 is the ratio of mole weights of
water and air, and Aoa and A e are the differences of air tempera
ture and vapour pressure, measured over the same height interval.
To evaluate U ,temperature soundings throughout the depth of
the lake (generally to 0'loC) must be made at a number of positions.
For medium and large lakes, the period between soundings must gener
ally be at least 23 weeks, but in small lakes a shorter balance
period is possible.
Variation of the Bowen ratio during the balance period can
cause errors in EL, which can be eliminated if an approximate mea
suremPnt of the variation in wind speed is also available (Webb,
1964, 1965).
3.4.2.4 Aerodynamic method
The aerodynamic method (also known as the method of turbulent dif
fusion) is suitable only for sites where the necessary instruments
can be properly maintained and observed. It depends on aerodynamic
relationships connecting vertical fluxes with the mean vertical
gradient, and depends on assumptions regarding the nature of the
wind velocity profile above the lake surface (WMO, 1966).
Applied to a short time lliterval, the evaporation may be cal
culated from
42
cornflutotionofcmQoonents
43
Metbodsfor water bakance computations
44
Computution oj Components
*
EL = 0.14 n (es  ez) (1 + 0  72 uz)
uz = K1K2K3 u z'
t
*
ez = el + K4 (0.8 es  el)
ez = e'z + K~ (e  e; 1
45
Methodsfor umter bakmce conrpututions
the water depth and the difference between air and water tempera
ture,(Gidrometeoizdat, 1969). The value of et is then obtained
from 8.
3.4.2.6 Effect of aquatic plants
Transpiration through the leaves of floating and emergent aquatic
plants may have a major effect on the evaporation from a lake or
reservoir. This effect is difficult to measure accurately, and
data derived from experiments under artificial conditions are un
likely to be reliable indicators of natural situations. Direct
measurements of transpiration by aquatic plants in natural condi
tions are also unlikely to be precise, if the method employed in
volves isolation of the whole plant, or a part of it, as this inter
f erence would almost certainly affect its transpiration rate.
The total evaporation from a water surface partially or wholly
covered by aquatic plants may be determined by direct application
of the water balance method (Section 3.4.2.2) or the aerodynamic
method (Section 3.4.2.4). The energy balance (Section 3.4.2.3),
Bowen ratio (Section 3.4.2.3) and combination (Section 3.4.2.5)
methods may also be adapted for this purpose, provided careful al
lowance is made for the possible effects of the plants on the micro
climate near the water surface.
The results of experimental work may be conveniently expressed
in the form of a correction coefficient Kpl, defined as the ratio of
the evaporation and transpiration from a plantcovered lake or re
servoir, to the openwater evaporation that would have occurred
under the same. climatic conditions.
In humid regions, KP1
is generally gieater than 1; values
for floating plants such as Eichhornia Crassipes (water hyacinth)
or Salvinia molesta range from 0.45 to 6.6 (Penfound & Earle, 1948;
Little, 1967; Timmer & Weldon, 1967; Mitchell, 1970). For these
plants, values of KPl appear to increase with an increase in temper
ature, a decrease in humidity, and an increase in the size and vigour
of the plants.
Experimental data for emergent plants, such as reeds, not direc
tly related to openwater evaporation values, have been reported by
Rudescu et al., (1965), Burian (1971), and Haslam (1970); and by
Guscio et al. (1965) for Typha spp in the United States.
In the USSK, values of Kpl have been found to be independent
of the kind of vegetation, but can only be applied to mean seasonal
values for small to medium lakes and reservoirs. The correction
coefficients have been related to the area of the water body occup
ied by the emergent plants. For forest and foreststeppe zones of
the USSR, the values of Kp1 arel.14, 1.22 and 1.3 for 50, 75 and 100
percent cover respectively. For steppe and semidesert zones, the
corresponding values are 1.24, 1.37 and 1.5 (Gidrometeoizdat , 1969).
In contrast, measurements by Linacre et al. (1970) in Phrag
mites and Typha stands in an arid region in Australia, and by Rijks
(1969) in African papyrus swamps indicate that E"pl may be less than
1 under conditions of lower humidity. The former workers consider
ed that this was caused by a combination of factors, including
46
Computation of Components
sheltering of the water surface by the reed plants, their higher de
gree of reflectivity (albedo) and their internal resistance to water
movement during dry periods. The presence of senescent and dead
vegetation may also be significant.
It is clear from these data that caution must be exercised in
miking assumptions about the effect of aquatic plants on evaporation
from water surfaces. In situations where the effect may be a sign
ificant component of the water balance under consideration, a speci
al program of measurements should be undertaken.
3.4.3 Evaporation from land
When computing the mean longterm evaporation from large plains ri
ver basins, the most accurate results are obtained by the water bal
ance method (Gidrometeoizdat, 1967). For mountain regions there
are no reliable methods for measurement of evaporation, and the usu
al approach is to estimate the variation of evaporation with eleva
tion and slope orientation, using direct measurements and computat
ional methods.
3.4.3.1 Computation from soil evaporimeter and lysimeter data
Monthly evaporation from the soil in individual months may be ob
tained with the aid of weighing, hydraulic and other soil evapori
meters and lysimeters of various designs (Toebes and Oury~aev,1970).
Since evaporation depends greatly on vegetation, soil cover and
other landscape conditions, these devices should be installed as
far as possible in each of the types of vegetation cover (field,
forest, etc.) which occupy the river basin. The mean evaporation
from the basin is computed from a knowledge of the area occupied by
the various types of vegetation cover.
3.4.3.1.1 Measurements of evaporation from snow cover by evapori
met er s
For river basins in middle latitudes which are completely or parti
ally covered by snow every year, evaporation during snow cover
periods can be measured by weighing evaporimeters of special design
(Toebes and Ouryvaev, 1970).
3.4.3.2 Water balance method
The water balance method gives evaporation as a residual term of
the water balance equation and is therefore subject to an unknown
error. The water balance method is most frequently used for the
computation of the mean evaporation from large river basins using
E = P  Q
S
For the determination of evaporation for a particular month
the water balance equation for the upper layer of the aeration zone
is
E * P  Qs Quc+ 
QUP (31)
where Dl is the increase in soil water storage in the water balance
period, gC
is the ascending flow of water into the aeration zone
47
Methods for water balance compututions
where R, is the net radiation, Hso is the heat flux into the soil,
45 and L are the density and latent heat of vaporization of water,
and B is the Bowen ratio, defined in equation (19) (Section 3.4.2.3).
This method is more suitable for use on research stations than
on a routine basis. As equation (33) does not take into account
the horizontal gradient of turbulent heat exchange (advection) , it
is restricted to use on large areas of flat land with uniform vege
tation.
The use of the Bowen ratio does not take into consideration the
influence of temperature stratification. To minimize this inf lu
ence, the gradients A0 and Ae should be measured as close as pract
icable to the ground (under conditions of high radiation, the height
should be from 0.1 to 0.2 m and under normal conditions up to 1 m).
Equation (33) is not suitable for use in arid regions.
3.4.3.4 Aerodynamic method
To determine evapotranspiration by the aerodynamic method, equation
(18) for a water surface is recommended. In this case, however, it
is necessary to take into account the influence of advection and
temperature stratification. To exclude the inf h e n c e of advection,
the measurements of gradients of vapour pressure and wind speed are
made on flat terrain with homogeneous vegetation. Brogmus (1952)
proposes methods for determining corrections for temperature strat
if ication.
Because of the requirements of large areas of flat uniform vege
tation (and soil water storage) and the difficulties of keeping in
struments functioning properly over long periods, it is unlikely
that these methods can be used on a routine basis.
48
Computation of Components
49
Methods for mater balance computations
Eo fE=
P
The coefficient f for the southeastern part of England varies
between 0.6 in the winter and 0.8 in the summer, with a mean annual
value of 0.75.
Blaney and Criddle (1950) proposed a formula suitable for the
determination of evaporation from wellwatered vegetative cover:
I
I
Crop or Farm Land
Alfalfa
Duration of the Vegetative
Period (months)
Freeoff rost period
K
0.8 00.8 5
Bean 3 0.600.70
Maize 4 0.750.85
Cotton 7 0.600.65
Flax 78 0.80 .
Cereals 3 0.750.85
50
Computation of Components
 ~
Crop or Farm Land Duration of the Vegetative K
Period (months)
Sorghum 45 0.70
Citrus 7 0.500.65
Walnut Freeoffrost period 0.70
Other fruit trees Freeof f rost period 0.600.7 0
Pasture Freeoffrost period 0.75
Clover pasture Freeo ff rost period 0.800.85
Potato 35 0.650.75
Rice 3 5 1.001.20
Sugar beet 6 0.650.75
Tomato 4 0.70
Vegetables 3 0.60
The lower K value in the table for each crop corresponds to the
climate of coastal areas, and the higher K value to the climate of
arid zones.
Blaney and Criddle's method may be recommended for computing
evaporation from irrigated land in areas of little cloudiness. Ac
cording to approximate estimates, the error of the method for mean
values of annual and growing period evaporation is of the order of
15 to 25 per cent.
Thornthwaite and Holzman (1942) developed the following equa
tion for maximum possible monthly potential evaporation:
Eo = 16 D' (7
51
Methods for w l e r balance compututions
52
Computation of Components
E = E if MI + M2 2 2M0
The water storage in the upper 1 m layer of soil for the beginning
of the first warm month, MI, is approximately determined by a spec
ially plotted map, while for all following months it is computed by
the formula
M = M + P  Q  Eo if M1 k M2 2 2M0
2 1
The maximum possible evaporation (E,) is computed by special
nomograms, depending on the deficit of air humidity (e*2 
e2) where
e2 is the vapour pressure 2m above the surface, and e2 is the satu
rated vapour pressure at the air temperature 2m above the surface.
The critical water storage (Q) is determined by tabulated data de
pending on mean monthly air temperature and geobotanic zone. The
53
Methods for water balance computations
E = (0.18
*
+ 0.98 ul0) (esn  e2) (45)
and
*
E = (0.24 + 0.04 ul0) (e2  e2)
where 1110, ,e* e2,
* and e2 are the mean daily values of wind veloci
ty, saturated vapour pressure corresponding to snow surface tempera
ture and air temperature, and vapour pressure, respectively. The
numbers10 and 2 below the symbols indicate the height above snow sur
face in metres at which the corresponding measurements are made.
Monthly evaporation from snow is determined by these formulae with
a relative standard error of about 30%.
Mean monthly evaporation from swamps is determined from the ra
diation balance of the swamp surface (Romanov, 1961):
E = $Rn (47)
where the coefficient I), which varies from month to month, is taken
from empirical tables, taking account of the type of swamp, while
the net radiation I$, (kcal/cm2 per month) is computed by one of the
known methods using standard meteorological data.
Evaporation from forests in individual months of the warm sea
son is computed by the equation
CE = * c Eo
where the coefficient $ is determined from the radiation index of
aridity c%/(L 1
P); Eo has the same value as in equation (43) and
is determined by the same nomograms depending on the deficit of air
humidity; Q is here the net radiation of the surface with differ
ent surface covers (meadow, fallow land, etc.), measured at meteoro
logical stations. The sums CEO, CR and CP are computed by consecu
tive summations beginning with the first warm m0nth:separately for
May (V), then for two months, May and June (VVI), then for three
months, May, June and July (VVII) , etc. up to the end of the last
warm month 
MaySeptember (VIX). From the sums CE determined by
equation (48), evaporation from a forest for an individual month,
say for July, is determined by
VI1 VI
54
Computation of Components
Ha
 A0C R +~ H~,)
1.56
A
Ae
e
which is used
0.10 kcal/cm2 per min, A8>0.loC, Ae >, 1 mb.

to compute the turbulent heat flux when (R, Hso) >
If (G
the turbulent
 Hs) < 0.10, or one of the valuesA0 or Ae is negative,
heat flux is determined from
H~ = 1.35 me (51)
55
Methods for mater balance computatiom
56
Computution of Components
57
Methods bahnce
N

...........34
e5
Fig. 10. Diagram of the location of gauges and axes of equilibrium
on the Kuibyshev Reservoir. The axes of equilibrium corres
pond to the wind direction: 1. northern and southern;
2. western and eastern; 3. northwestern and southeastern;
58 4. northeastern and southwestern; 5. gauges.
Computation of Components
Meaning Units
Q.
3
= m QIj (52)
where the coefficient m represents the ratio of drainage area above
the middle of the section to the area of the drainage basin above
the gauging station.
(2) If there are no big tributaries in the section the mean
stream discharge is estimated as the arithmetic mean, i.e.
Qj = T1 (QjI + Qjo)
59
Metbodsfor water balance compukztions
where rj is the lag time (mean travel time) for the section between
the gauge lines.
If there is a comparatively large tributary within the section,
carrying about 50% of the total inflow, the mean stream discharge
of the section is estimated with weighting coefficients, and equa
tion (53) becomes
where Q1, Q2, Q3 are the stream discharges at the upper gauge lines
of the tributaries and at the lower outlet line respectively, and
the coefficients bl, b2, 6 may be estimated from the following equa
tions:
bl = rjl + Tj3  61
b2 = Tj2 + Cj, 6 (57)
where 4
is the mean discharge per unit area estimated for small re
presentative rivers, and t, the mean basin stream velocity in mfsec,
is estimated as the arithmetic mean of stream velocities of three or
four similar rivers the length of which is < 50, 100 or 150 lan; A is
Computation of Components
the area of the whole basin, C and D are factors computed for plains
rivers in the USSR (Table 3). More approximately, the mean stream
velocity f may be estimated as the arithmetic mean of stream veloci
ties U', computed for similar rivers from
where i is the mean slope of the water surface during the low flow
period in metres per thousand metres, hax is the average maximum
discharge estimated from observational data, or in their absence,
from the data of similar rivers, and d is a parameter taken from
Table 4. The total channel storage for a specified date is comput
ed by summing the values of the water storage in the large, medium
and small drainage network, i.e.
62
Compulalion of Components
0 CO PI 0 0 rl G W N O m
rlrlNmm
m
rl
0
rl
0
rl
rl
rl
rl
rl
rl
rl .....
00000
I I I I I
I CJmmWN
rlrl1cum
..
00000
..
U3 CO rl CO PI
W W U3 v) m
0 0 0 0
0
9
0 0
9
0 0
m ? 1 cu t
0
* *
0 0 m m m
rl * m * *
I
0 cu v) cu rl
0
*
0
* m m
B
0
9 9
0
0
0 0 0 h
m
m ooocu?
W mmrl rl
0
v)
In
W
m
9
m
v)
CO
?
m
0 g
T
i
I I
0v)mv)m
I I I
W W r r CO U
l
d
*curl
rl
.
3
I @
a,
r CO m rl rl 6
*rl
rl rl
0 F3 0 0
rl
0
rl
0 Ll
0 0 0 0 0 U
U
rd
W
l
a
W
0
111
a,
a, 3
a rl
a
a,
U
Ll 2 a,
M
U a,
m m
I a,
rd U
m
U
m
a, aI
Ll a
a a, a, a 4 w
Ll
E3
$4
0
Fr
0
b
a,
U
cn
3
cn
I1
!a
2
63
Methods for water bahnce computations
AG = v . A5
where AG
is the average variation of groundwater level for the area.
Changes of groundwater levels for a designated period in a
basin are determined by computing the difference between average
levels at the beginning and at the end of the designated period.
Groundwater levels are measured in wells, making allowance for the
effect of the topography and the characteristics of waterbearing
layers. For basins with homogeneous hydrological conditions the
mean level is calculated as the arithmetic mean, while for basins
with heterogeneous hydrogeological conditions it is calculated as a
weighted (mean. In basins with heterogeneous hydrogeological con
ditions there can be considerable local variations in the ground
water regime with groundwater storage increasing in some parts and
decreasing in others. These differences are not taken into account
64
Compukztion of Components
by using the mean value of groundwater level changes for the whole
basin. Groundwater storage variations must be evaluated for each
different part of the basin within which hydrogeological conditions
are homogeneous.
The division of the basin area into areas with different types
of groundwater level fluctuations results in a more accurate compu
tation of weighted mean values of level fluctuation, even when few
wells are available to provide data.
Statistical techniques of data processing should be used in
choosing the optimum number of observational points for evaluation
of groundwater level fluctuations. This may not be possible in
areas with few wells.
To evaluate groundwater fluctuations caused by meteorological
factors the coefficients of correlation between waterlevels in wells
are computed for wells situated at different distances from each
other. This permits the determination of the degree of synchronism
of level fluctuations in basins, for which groundwater storage var
iations are computed, as well as the representativeness of individu
al observation points for different parts of the basins. Such a
regional analysis of hydrogeological observational data provides the
most objective evaluation of general changes of level at the chosen
observational points (Popov, 1967). Further information on net
works is given in Mandel (1965) and Jacobs (1972).
Thus in a basin less than 100 lan2 in area with depth to ground
water not greater than 5 m. in the forest zone of a temperate cli
mate and under homogeneous hydrogeological conditions, the ground
water storage may be computed with 10% accuracy if there are about
10 observation points for each aquifer. If the depth to ground
water is much greater than 5 m. the number of wells may be less.
The saturation deficit (vUz) is computed as the difference be
tween the total moisture capacity and the natural moisture of mater
ials in the zone of groundwater fluctuations, determined on the
basis of field data(Krestovski and Fedorov, 1970). Specific yield
(Vsz) for sandy and loamy materials is determined by computing the
difference between the total moisture capacity and the minimum field
capacity; for sandy rocks the maximum molecular moisture capacity
may be substituted for the minimum field capacity. The above
values are determined by measurement of the moisture content of sam
ples of the material taken above the level of the groundwater. When
computing the specific yield Vsz it should be taken into account
that even completely saturated materials may contain entrapped air,
the volume of which may be 4 to 10% or more of the porosity of the
material.
Where material in the zone of groundwater fluctuations is lay
ered or stratified, V is computed as a weighted mean value by means
of the equation
(62)
65
Methods for water balance compulutions
n
to the thickness di 1 .
i=1
For a river basin or a large region with heterogeneous hydroge
ological conditions, groundwater variations are computed by divid
ing the region into relatively homogeneous subregions, computing
the change in storage in each subregion, and adding the subregional
storage changes to obtain the total for the region.
In some cases the variation of groundwater storage, or mean
value of Vsz for river basins, may be determined by establishing the
relation of groundwater inflow to the river to the average ground
water level in the basin. For this purpose groundwater levels and
discharge at the outlet are measured during stable low flow periods
(periods of base flow). Curves are drawn relating discharge per
unit area of basin at the outlet, q, to the mean groundwater level
in the basin, 5. If the discharge from the saturated zone into the
zone of aeration is not great, the mean value of groundwater storage
Vsz above the outlet may be calculated by the equation
I I
66
4. VARIABILITY OF THE MAIN WATER BALANCE COMPONENTS AND ACCURACY
OF THEIR ESTIMATION
4 .I Variability of main waterbalance components
Waterbalance components can be considered as random variables in
time and space. For example, the time series of annual precipita
tion or discharge is a random variable in time, and precipitation or
evaporation at some point in the basin is a spatial random variable.
In mathematical statistics, observed values are considered as sam
ples of a random variable, that is, as independent samples from an
infinite population. Each random variable has its own distribution,
usually unknown, and in some cases it is assumed or deduced by some
hypothesis, but in others it must be discovered by observation.
The measure of dispersion of a set of observed values 3 (i=l,
2,...,n) relative to the mean ? = X./n is the standard deviation
i=l 1
sn1=J i=l (64)
cv = olp (66)
In practice, Cv is computed by s/g or s'/x.
The mean and the standard deviation are important because we
can see the approximate outline of the distribution from them. For
example, in the case of a normal distribution where the probability
density function p(x) is given by
67
Methods for water bahnce compututions
uniform
distribution p(x) = { l/a a/2<xp<a/2
o Ixpl>a/2
57.7 100 100
triangular {(:/a) I
(1lxU /a>
distribution p(x) =
I I
xl~ <a 65.0
xv >a
96.6 100
exponential (x/a) x a
distribution p(x) =
/ (:Ia) e x< 0
86.5 95.0 98.2
r (x/a)x>,O
a type of
distribution p(x) =
14""" e x< 0
73.8 95.3 98.6
68
VatMbility and accuracy
>
x = 0
x c 0,
where the mean 1.1, standard deviation a and coefficient of variation
C,, are given as follows:
Table 7 presents the relation between the probability P and the mod
ule coefficient K = X/p, where P is the probability that a sample is
greater than X = pK for the rdistribution. Table 7 shows, for ex
ample, that the module coefficient of a wet year (of 1% frequency or
probability once in 100,years) equals 1.25 when the coefficient of
variation is 0.10 and that it is 4.60 when the coefficient of varia
tion is 1.00.
TABLE 7. Module coefficients of different frequencies
for different coefficients of variation.
Coefficient
Frequency, %
of variation
1 3 10 25 5C 75 90 97 99
0.10 1.25 1.20 1.13 1.07 1.00 0.93 0.87 0.82 0.78
0.20 1.52 1.41 1.26 1.13 0.99 0.86 0.75 0.66 0.59
0.30 1.83 1.63 1.40 1.18 0.97 0.78 0.64 0.52 0.44
0.40 2.16 1.87 1.53 1.23 0.95 0.71 0.53 0.39 0.31
0.50 2.51 2.13 1.67 1.28 0.92 0.63 0.44 0.29 0.21
0.60 2.89 2.39 1.80 1.31 0.88 0.56 0.35 0.20 0.13
0.70 3.29 2.66 1.94 1.34 0.84 0.49 0.27 0.14 0.08
0.80 3.71 2.94 2.06 1.37 0.80 0.42 0.21 0.09 0.04
0.90 4.15 3.22 2.19 1.38 0.75 0.35 0.15 0.05 0.02
1.00 4.61 3.51 2.30 1.39 0.69 0.29 0.11 0.03 0.01
where rpQ and rQs; are the correlation coefficients between precipi
tation and total runoff, and between total runoff and underground
runoff, respectively, and E and os
are the mean values of wapotran
69
70
Variability and accuracy
Southern
141 0.45 48 0.64 0.94 93 0.39
Taiga
Northern
For est 40 0.70 6.1 0.56 0.77 33.9 0.75
Steppe
Southern
Forest 22 1.02 2.6 1.08 0.51 19.4 1.09
Steppe
Equations (70) and (71) may be used for the study of spatial
variability of waterbalance components in any geographical zone and
region and for rivers and sea basins, as well as countries and con
t inent s.
Equation (71) may also be used for the study of the variability
in time of the annual surface runoff, since the same relation Qs = Q
 Qu holds for annual runoff, as for a longterm period(this holds
for humid zones, but may be less valid as the annual precipitation
decreasas) .
4.2 Estimation of the accuracy of measurement and computation of
water balance components
There are systematic and random errors during hydrometeorological
observations and during the processing of results, due to defects
in instruments and methods of measurement. Systematic errors,
caused mainly by the methods of observation and the design of in
struments, may be avoided by correcting the observed data during
processing ( W O , 1970a). Random errors are dependent on many un
known causes and may be taken into account only statistically (Gid
rometeoizdat , 1970).
Systematic errors of measurements of precipitation, runoff and
evaporation can be avoided with the aid of various correction coef
ficients obtained by comparing the readings of standard and refer
ence instruments.
After each waterbalance component has been measured, its error
can be estimated using the following theorem:
Let Xi (i=l ,...,n) be a set of independent random samples of
size n from a population having a population mean vand a population
standard deviation 0. Then the sample mean
71
Methods for water balnnce computations
n
..
il = 1
Xi/n
i=l
is also a random variable, that is it varies by chance, and its
distribution is nearly equal to a normal distribution of mean 1.1
and standard deviation GI&.
This theorem gives an important equation for the standard de
viation of the sample mean
n
iz = 1 xi/"
i=1
of a sample size n.
6 = a/&
X
where n is the sample size (or the length of a time series) and Cv
is the coefficient of variation, and & is the standard error 616.
Table 10 presents an example of the computation.
The above statistical methods for evaluation of random errors
are equally suitable for all components of the water balance which
are obtained as arithmetic means of observed values.
72
Variability and accuracy
73
Methods for water balance computntions
20 40 60 80 100
I
0.10 3.2 2.2 1.6 1.3 1.1 1.0
0.20 6.3 4.5 3.2 2.6 2.2 2.0
0.30 9.5 6.7 4.7 3.9 3.4 3.0
0.40 12.6 8.9 6.3 5.2 4.5 4.0
0.50 15.8 11.2 7.9 6.5 5.6 5.0
0.60 19.0 13.4 9.5 7.7 6.7 6.0
0.70 22.1 15.7 11.1 9.0 7.8 7 .O
0.80 25.3 17.9 12.6 10.3 8.9 8.0
0.90 28.5 20.1 14.2 11.6 10.1 9.0
1.00 31.6 22.4 15.8 12.9 11.2 10.0
1.10 34.8 24.6 17.4 14.2 12.3 11.0
1.20 37.9 26.8 19.0 15.5 13.4 12.0
1.30 41.1 29.1 20.6 16.8 14.5 13.0
1.40 44.3 31.3 22.1 18.1 15.7 14.0
1.50 47.4 33.5 23.7 19.4 16.8 15.0
74
5. WATER BALANCE OF WATER BODIES
5.1 River basins
5.1.1 General
River basins are the main subject of waterbalance research and com
putation. On the basis of water balances of individual river bas
ins, generalized water balances are computed and water resources ev
aluated for different countries, regions and continents.
In the water balance equation of river basins all the balance
elements are mean values for the basin.
To compute the water balance of a large river basin (e.g. hun
dreds of thousands km2) with different physiographic features, the
basin should be divided into an appropriate number of areas (sub
basins) for which water balance computations are made individually.
The water balance of the whole basin is computed from weighted ave
rage values of the main water balance components of subbasins. If
the water balance is computed for a small river basin (no more than
10001200 h2), characterized by balance regime (grassland, forest ,
irrigated or drained lands, swamps, glaciers, etc.), then the com
ponents of the water balance should be determined by taking into
account the specific water balances of these areas. The computa
tion of specific water balances for individual areas is made when
these land types cover more than 2030% of the total basin area.
For mountain river basins it is necessary to consider the ef
fect of altitudinal zones on the distribution of waterbalance com
ponent s.
5.1.2 Mean water balance of a river basin
Computation of mean water balances of river basins for a complete
annual cycle (calendar or hydrological year), which is the main
form of waterbalance computation, provides initial information on
basin water resources. As stated in Sections 2.2 and 2.3, the
water balance equation of a closed river basin for a longterm per
iod may be presented as
PQE = 0 (75)
In some basins which exchange a considerable volume of under
ground water with adjacent basins, the terms QU1 of underground in
flow and Quo of underground outflow must be inserted in equation (75).
Groundwater exchange can be evaluated by means of special obsenra
tions (see Section 5.4).
Mean annual precipitation (F) and discharge (Gs) can be obtain
ed from observational data; therefore, in the absence of signific
ant groundwater exchange with adjoining basins or the sea, the
value of the mean annual evaporation from the basin is reliable if
it is obtained from equation (75):
a=pqs
If river water is used on a large scale for primary or second
ary industry, the term Q, for water removal for economic purposes
and the term QB for return water must be inserted in equation (75).
75
Methods for una& bakance Computations
76
Water balance of water bodies
m rl rl 0
h h 4
U) U) U) m
CO U) rl m
* m * 0
e * U) m
punox:
la pur U)
cn
W
PI
0
m
U)
N 0 h U)
h CO U U)
rn m rl
U
8
G
h
W
W
U)
h
h
0
W
0 * N
0
U
al U) ?I a3 U)
U rl U) 4 U)
G cn h W m
ld
rl
cd
a W h 00 N
I4
a,
?
W
m
U)
h
CO
:
m
U
9 U) * m U)
cv 0
2 ?
U) W CO m
m U) U)
m. *rl
c 4 0
O m 0 0
ld
S
I
m 0 0
W
? $ h
Nul 0 0
Y
N U U) W
T!: T! U)
m m 4 0
h U3 CO N
0 t
m
4
m
0
?I e
0 0 0 0
U) 0 0 0
W N h 0
N +
.
77
Methods for water balonce compututions
0
9
o u o 0 0 0 ln rl N
rl
0 0
0  0 0 0 0 rn rl N
C O L J I  rl
ln u
I
0
0 0
O C O L D e N rl CO
m
N
m I 3
rl
N N
I
I
In
U h
orlo 0 PI N
9
rl 0 m
ln r l p z ln N N
rl I
d
U
m
& d
a,&
Ucd
a >
?a,
W a m
W ccd
s
3
5 Q
0 0
M U
am
78
Water balance of water bodies
79
Metbods for uxrter balauce computations
80
Water balance of wter bodies
P + P2 + P3  Qso 
1
Bo 
 El  E2 E3 ASSAMAG = 0 (80)
where PI is precipitation over the forest terrain penetrating throu
gh the canopy; P2 is precipitation intercepted by the canopy, P3
is precipitation flowing down the stems of trees; Qso and Quo are
surface and underground outflow respectively from the forest terrain;
E1 is evaporation under the canopy; E2 is evaporation or precipita
tion intercepted by the canopy; E3 is transpiration of trees; ASs
is water storage variation on the forest terrain surface; AM is
water storage variation in the upper 1 m soil layer; AG is ground
water storage variation; q is water balance discrepancy (0 = AM' +
Qup i V', where AM' is water storage variation in the aeration zone
81
Methods for mater balance computations
below the upper 1 metre layer and down to the zone of saturation,
Qup is percolation beyond the zone of saturation, and n' is the un
assigned balance discrepancy).
Precipitation penetrating through the canopy (Pi) and precipi
tation flowing down the tree stems (P3) are determined by special
methods (Sopper and Lull, 1967; Luchshev, 1970).
Precipitation intercepted by the canopy (Pp) is computed as the
difference between precipatation falling over the forest terrain (P)
(see Section 3.2.4) and the sum of precipitation penetrating through
the canopy (PI) and precipitation flowing down the stems (P3), i.e.
P2 = P  PI  p3
Surface and underground outflow (QSo and Quo) from forest plots
are measured by means of weirs or measuring tanks equipped with water
level recorders (Popov, 1968; Rothacher and Miner, 1967).
Evaporation from the forest terrain is determined by methods of
water balance, heat balance and turbulent diffusion (see Section 3.4.3
and Penman, 1967).
Evaporation from the forest terrain (E) may be presented .in the
following way:
E2 = P  PI  P3 = P2 (84)
Treestand transpiration on the forest plot is determined by
E3 = P1 + P3  Qso  Bo Qup  El  A S s  ~  ~ '  A G (85)
82
Water bakznce oj w t e r bodies
where E;' is evaporation from the snow cover under the canopy; Eh'
is evaporation from snow intercepted by the canopy; E$' is transpi
ration of trees in winter.
Evaporation from the snow cover under the canopy may be measured
by special snow evaporimeters as described by Kuzmin (1953). Its
value is on the average onethird of the value of evaporation from
treeless terrain.
Experimental data obtained in Valdai (USSR) indicates that, for
that region, evaporation from snow intercepted by the canopy of de
ciduous trees may be considered equal to 23% of the total solid
precipitation falling on the forest. Evaporation from snow inter
cepted by coniferous trees is determined by the equation:
83
Methodsfor water balance computations
under the forest canopy and of snow intercepted by the canopy from
evaporation in open land, the results obtained from the above equa
tions are multiplied by an empirical transition coefficient (1.25).
Evaporation from forests in the temperate zone in the transition
months (April, October, November) is equated with potential evapor
ation.
Moisture content in the unsaturated zone and groundwater sto
rage are determined in accordance with the recommendations given in
Sections 3.5.3 and 3.5.4.
5.1.4.2 Forested basins
The principal aspects of a waterbalance study of a forested basin
are essentially the same as for the forest plot.
Investigations of the water balance of a forested basin can be
made if largescale topographic, hydrogeologic, soil and geobotanic
maps are available. Observations of the basin's precipitation, run
off, groundwater level and soil moisture are made, together with
lysimeter and meteorological observations and determination of the
hydrophysical properties of the soil and underlying rock.
Evaporation from basins is computed as a residual term of the
equations of water or heat balance, or by empirical methods (see
Section 3.4.3).
In order to determine soil moisture content in the unsaturated
zone, gravimetric or neutron methods are applied.
Groundwater storage variations over the basin are computed
from groundwater level fluctuations and water yield coefficients of
the aquifers (see Section 3.5.4).
Table 14 gives an example of the results obtained from computa
tion of the seasonal and annual water balance of a small forested
watershed in Valdai.
5.1.5 Irrigated and drained land
5.1.5.1 Irrigated land
Waterbalance studies on irrigated areas are conducted with a view
to :
(a) improving the norms and regime of irrigation so as to enhance
the productivity of irrigated land, and
(b) assessing the changes in the water balance and water resources
of river basins which provide water for irrigation.
Irrigated areas may be subdivided hydrologically into well dra
ined land with underground runoff predominating among outflow com
ponents of the balance, and poorly drained lands without underground
runoff. On the basis of climatic features, it is possible to dis
tinguish between the arid irrigation areas, where irrigation water
is the predominant waterbalance component and the zone of approxi
mate water balance, where precipitation may be as important as irri
gation water. Every region is characterized by specific relations
between the waterbalance components, and their study enables the
forecasting of secondary salinization and formation of swamps, and
indicates measures required to prevent these events.
The water balance equation written for an irrigated field from
84
Water balance of w t e r bodies
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Methods /or water balance compututions
the soil surface down to the aquiclude, for any time interval, may
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86
Water bahnce of water bodies
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Methods for water balance computations
  
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Water bahnce of water bodies
where QS1 and Qso are inflow and outflow of surface water; QU1 and
Quo are inflow and out.flowof shallow ground water; Qui and Qu2 are
inflow and outflow of ground water from deeper aquifers (vertical
ground water exchange); E is evaporation; AS is soil moisture var
iation on the surface and underground; q is the balance discrepancy.
The measurement of individual balance components of the reclaim
ed basin is made by methods applicable to ordinary river basins.
Total inflow (QsI + QUI) to the basin from higher areas and run
off (QSo + Quo) from the basin are measured on the canals of the dr
ainage network by the same methods as applied for irrigation canals
(Section 5.1.5.1).
Table 16 gives an example of the computation of the water bal
ance of a reclaimed basin; drained swamps of the basin are used as
agricultural fields (Shebeko, 1970).
In the above example, precipitation, evaporation, drainage run
off and water storage variations in the unsaturated zone were mea
sured, while water exchange with layers below the drainage level of

drainage canals (Qu2 Qul) was computed as a residual term of the
water balance equation. When this computation method is applied,
the water exchange value inevitably includes errors in the determin
at ion of waterbalance components.
The water balance equation of the unsaturated zone of the drain
ed agricultural field is composed of the same terms as in the equa
tions for an irrigated field (89) and (90). The ratios of water
balance components however , will be different .
The measurement of the waterbalance components of drained
agricultural fields involves the same methods as for irrigated lands.
5.2 Lakes and reservoirs
According to the nature of the water balance, lakes can be divided
into two main categories: open (exorheic) lakes with outflow, and
closed (endorheic) lakes without outflow. Lakes with intermittent
(ephemeral) outflow during high water stages constitute an intermed
iate category.
The water balance equation for lakes and reservoirs for any
time interval may be written as follows:
Qs, = a, + Ql (94)
89
Methods for wter balance compufutions
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Water bakance of water bodies
QsI + PL = EL (97)
Equation (97) may be applied for an approximate evaluation of
the water resources of small endorheic lakes, using data on precipi
tation and runoff (inflow) only; if there are no direct measure
ments of these elements, they may be determined by means of regional
maps indicating their longterm values. E is obtained from the
water balance equation as a residual term, and includes errors due
to any difference between QUI and Quo.
With the construction of numerous reservoirs on rivers, it be
comes necessary to obtain daily hydrological information on the rate
of inflow and water storage in these reservoirs, i.e. a compilation
of current water balances for short time intervals such as months or
10 day periods (Vikulina, 1970). The shortening of the balance
period requires more detailed computation and detailed accounting of
additional waterbalance components, such as: accumulation of water
in channels and f loodplains of submerged rivers; bank storage dur
ing the filling of the reservoir and return of this water back into
the reservoir when the waterlevel in the reservoir is lowered;
water losses due to ice left on the shore during falls of waterlev
el in winter, and the return of these temporary losses in the form
of Qoating ice in spring.
For an approximate computation of the water balance or the
purpose of routine control of water inflow and outflow, the simpli
fied water balance equation is used:
cI = Q + ASL
where 11 is the sum of input components of the water balance equa
91
Methods for water balance computations
92
Water balance oj tuvlter bodies
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93
Methods for W&T balance compututiom
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Water bakance of water bodies
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Methods for water balance computations
96
Water balance of water bodies
97
Methods for water bakance compututions
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Water bahnce of water bodies
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99
Methods for water balance computations
subscripts C capillary
int interflow
ov overland flow
P from precipitation
c1 removed for economic
purposes
B returned from other
basins
exchange with surface
flow
Symbols
~~ ~
Id thickness of rock
layer
groundwater level,
m
m
piezometric head
ratio of change in
groundwater stor
age to change in
groundwater level
specific yield
saturation deficit
100
Water balance of water bodies
,+g1912QLly+%
QuJ+QULI+Qu eQucQu2 QuoQu3
= O (103 )
or
101
Metbodsfor wter balance comflukrtions
or
Qllp  Qlly  Qu3 = QSI + Qovo  Qso  ASs  n2
where QS1 is the surfacewater inflow from adjacent basin areas (art
ificial water transfers included); Qso is the surfacewater outflow
beyond the boundaries of the given area (irretrievable water intake
from rivers and lakes included); Qov0 is the overland flow input to
the stream channel; ASs is the change in surfacewater storage; and
it is assumed that there is negligible precipitation and evaporation
on and from the surface of the river. In employing this equation
the overland flow component is either estimated independently or as
sumed to be insignificant. The fourth term in equation (104) can be
estimated from data on artesian aquifers and recharge wells (Vsegin
geo, 1968). Thus, through estimating three of the terms in equation
(104) it is possible to use this equation to calculate the net value
of groundwater recharge by infiltration, the term (QupQuc), in those
situations where the change in groundwater storage can be estimated
or assumed to.be insignificant.
However, the net value of groundwater recharge by infiltration,
(QupQUc) can also be estimated using the soilmoisture balance equ
ation (Pig. 12)
102
Water bakance of water bodies
where Qul is the inflow of artesian water to the basin and Qu2 is the
loss to deep aquifers which discharge ground water beyond the bound
aries of the river basin under study. Other river basins would be
located in areas where the artesian aquifer is being recharged and
in this case the Qul term would represent an outflow and be preceded
by a negative sign.
The foregoing discussion has been primarily concerned with pre
senting the structure of the groundwater balance equation, indicating
103
Methods for water balance compututions
how the various terms can be estimated, and demonstrating the uti
lity of this equation in water resources investigations. Little
attention has been given to the accuracy with which the terms can be
estimated, that is, to groundwater instrumentation and observation
techniques (Gilliland, 1969), to the accuracy and precision of ground
water measurements (Hvorslev, 1951), to the nature of groundwater
flow systems (Freeze and Witherspoon, 1966, 1967, 1968), to the de
sign of groundwater observation networks (Geiger and Hitchon, 1964;
Lawson, 1970), and to the strategy to be employed in'conducting
groundwater basin studies (Lewis and Burgy, 1964; Meyboom, 1966,
1967; Lawson, 1970).
The literature cited above will provide further insight into the
employment and accuracy of the groundwater balance equation. In
general, there is little that can be said about the accuracy of
groundwater balance calculations, other than that the error term can
be quite large, that it is important to base the structure of the
equation on a sound understanding of the groundwater flow pattern,
and that any hydrometeorological information which is used to esti
mate any of the terms should be as accurate as possible. It is dif
ficult to obtain accurate estimates of the specific yield, and errors
can be reduced by selecting a time period over which the change in
storage approaches zero. Similarly, an inadequate knowledge of the
permeability distribution often limits the accuracy of hydrodynamic
computations of groundwater flow. Thus it is recommended that
these hydrodynamic calculations be checked by as many independent
methods as possible, e.g. by using equation (105), (106) and/or (107).
5.5 Mountain glacier basins, mountain glaciers and ice shields
The water balance equation for a mountain glacier basin for short
time intervals (months, seasons) may be written as follows:
104
Water balance ojwater bodies
(109) are estimated for the part of the basin not covered by glaciers.
Solid and liquid precipitation (P) is evaluated on the basis of
data from snow surveys and from storage precipitation gauges install
ed in different parts of the basin. Snow surveys are also a means
of estimating the value of ASsn. The terms AS 1 may be estimated by
different methods, such as by observations of t8e glacier surface
melt by means of special staffs (ablation stakes) installed in the
ice, by the heat balance method, or, more approximately, on the basis
of air temperature data.
In order to estimate evaporation (E) it is possible to use the
methods of computation given in Section 3.4.3 or observational data
from evaporimeters. The estimation of AM is timeconsuming since
it requires soil moisture measurements by gravimetric or other meth
ods. Since there are no methods for the measurement of water ex
change between ground water and the unsaturated zone, the water ex
change (QupQuc) is usually included in the discrepancy term.
Equation (109) expresses the water balance for particular peri
ods of short duration (particular months, seasons). For the annual
mean, it is possible to assume that LW = 0 and ASsn = 0. The value
ASgl, however, unlike AM can never be assumed to be zero at any
period of averaging, unless there is a sound reason for believing
that the glacier is in equilibrium. Even a very low rate of advance
or recession involves an appreciable annual change in AS 1.
For every particular glacier, ASgl expresses the bafance of the
solid phase of glacier substance and may be estimated on the basis of
the following equation for the ice and snow balance of a mountain
glacier :
105
Methodsfor water balance computations
where Q is surface inflow into the sea (in general it is total river
runoff iischarging into the sea); QUI is underground inflow into the
sea from the shores and through the bottom of the sea; QstI is sea
water inflow from the ocean through straits connecting the sea with
the ocean; QstO is outflow from the sea through these straits; Ps
is precipitation on the sea surface; E, is evaporation from the sea
surface; ASs is variation of water storage in the sea, which in the
majority of cases equals zero.
Qs is determined by routine hydrometric methods, by means of dis
charge measurements on rivers running into the sea, at gauging cross
sections nearest to the river mouth; QstI and Qsto are estimated on
the basis of data of oceanographic investigations of currents in the
straits connecting the sea with the ocean; P, and AS, may be deter
mined by methods applied for the computation of these elements for
large reservoirs (see Section 3.2.4 and 3.5.2.3); and E, is comput
ed by the heat balance method. Direct measurement of underground
inflow into the sea presents almost insurmountable difficulties.
Underground inflow may be computed by hydrogeological methods or it
may beestimated as a residual term of the water balance equation.
The approximate mean water balance of the Baltic Sea (a typical
inland sea) is given in Table 22 (Sokolovski, 1968). The water
balance was computed by means of the simplified equation:
Qs + Ps  Es  Qsto = O
The discharge (Qsto) from the Baltic sea to the North Sea through
the Danish Straits was obtained by computing the difference:
mm lan3 mm lan3
106
6. REGIONAL WATER BALANCES
Regional water balances (for large territories, countries, sea basins
and continents) are, as a rule, determined for longterm periods only.
6.1 Water balance of countries
Determination of the water balance of countries has two aims; first,
to obtain data necessary for the rational use of national water re
sources and second, to obtain data necessary for the preparation of
generalized water balances of sea basins, continents and the globe
as a whole.
Country boundaries seldom coincide with watershed divides; they
cross river basins, large areas of which thus lie outside the bound
aries of the country. A considerable volume of river runoff may
therefore flow into the territory of a given country from another
country through the channels of rivers crossing state borders.
Therefore, the mean water balance of individual countries (for
which the variation of water storage AS and the underground water ex
change with neighbouring areas Qu1QUo may be assumed to be equal to
zero) is computed by the following simplified equation:
P  E  Qs, + QsI = 0
where Q, is the total volume of water (river runoff) carried to the
country under study by rivers from foreign countries, Qso is the
total volume of water (river runoff) removed from the country beyond
its boundaries. 
The difference Qso QsI = Q is runoff that forms
within the country, conventionally called local runoff.
The computation of precipitation (P) and of evaporation (E) av
eraged over the whole area of the country is made by methods describ
ed in Sections 3.2 and 3.4; and Qso are determined from measure
ments of river discharge at h:%!ometric stations nearest to the bor
der. If the distance between the stations and the border is great,
the use of graphs of variations of discharge along the river is re
commended.
Local runoff Q may be determined both by calculating the differ
ence between the values of water outflow and inflow at the border
and by summarizing the runoff of individual rivers (or their stretch
es) situated within the country. Usually the values of local run
off obtained by the two methods are approximately the same. However,
if runoff which is formed on the given territory is as much as 50% or
if it exceeds the difference between the volumes of outflow and in
flow, the error of the difference method may be considerable. In
these cases, the second method is preferable.
If there is no available information on the runoff of individual
rivers, the volume of local runoff may be determined by using the map
of mean annual runoff.
If the area of the country is relatively small, the water bal
ance may be computed for the whole territory without division into
separate river basins. For larger countries with several large river
basins, the water balance of the whole country may be obtained by cal
107
Methods for water balance compututions
108
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7. WATER BALANCE OF THE ATMOSPHERE
The equation for the water balance of the earth, which is discussed
in detail in other chapters of this report, has served as a central
concept for hydrologists. A similar equation can be derived for
the continuity of water substance in the atmosphere, and during the
past few decades an improving network of aerological stations has
produced progressively more detailed and accurate measurements of
the various terms of this balance equation. The smallest areas and
shortest time periods for which averages can be computed are deter
mined by the density of observation stations and the frequency of
sampling .
7.1 Main water balance equations
For a given balance period, in any selected layer of a large area
(for instance, large river basins, swamp areas, etc.) and in the at
mosphere above it, the water balance equations are as follows (Boch
kov and Sorochan, 1972):
for the active soil layer (see equation (1) ):
Q,  Qo i P 
for the atmosphere above it:
E  AM  Q = 0
Q;  Qb  P i  E  AW  n' = 0 (116)
Equations (115) and (116) include respectively the total inflow (QI,
Qi) and outflow (90, QO) of water in the active soil layer and the
atmosphere, the change in water storage (AM) in the soil down to the
depth of the selected layer, and the change in water storage (AW) in
the atmosphere. For a longterm balance period, the terms AM and
AW may be taken as zero, but they must be included in the estimation
of the water balance for a shorter time interval.
7.2 Water balance equation for the atmospheresoil system
The,waterbalance equation for the atmospheresoil system is obtained
from the combined solution of equations (115) and (116):
AQ + AQ'  AM  AW  N = 0 (117)
where AQ = Q,  Qo; AQ' = Qi  QA; N = q i q'
Equation (117) allows atmosphere flux and storage data to be used to
estimate components of the water balance equation for the earth,
either as an independent check or as an indirect method of estimating
components that are difficult to measure.
7.3 Development of the water balance equation for the atmosphere
(For symbols see section 3.4.1.1)
The water balance equation for the atmosphere may be developed for
studies of the role of water vapor in the general circulation of the
atmosphere (Ramusson, 1972; Peixoto, 1973); or of the role of cum
ulus convection in the water balance of the atmosphere (Holland and
113
Methods /or water bakance cornflulotions
Values of AW are typically a few millimetres, and the term can nor
mally be ignored for annual or longterm balance computations, but
it may be significant for seasonal averages or averages for shorter
periods.
The integral terms of equations (118) and (119) may be obtained
from aerological data. Since more than 90 per cent of the water in
the atmosphere usually lies below a level of 500 mb, it is normally
sufficient to take calculations to pt = 500 or 400 mb. A mini
mum vertical resolution of 50 mb is desirable in the lower levels,
up to about 700 mb (Palmen, 1967).
The integral term in equation (118) represents the divergence
of atmospheric vapour flux for the area A. The elements of this
term may be conveniently broken into a "mean" and "eddy" term, i.e.
h=G+h' )
U

=un+u' 1
n n
114
Atmospheric water bakance
115
Methodsfor woter balonce compututions
116
8. ESTIMATION OF THE RATE OF WATER CIRCULATION
To estimate the rate of water circulation in the active layer of the
hydrosphere, use can be made of the criterion indicating the rate of
water circulation (Kalinin, 1968), also called the residence time
(UNESCO, 1971). There is not one specific residence time for a
given component, and the spectrum of residence times depends on the
mechanism of flow for that component. Regardless of this mechanism,
the average (conventional) residence time Tr can be expressed as the
ratio of ayerage storage volume ? to the average throughput (input
or output) Q, i.e.
Tr = v/G
The conventional residence time for the atmosphere can be esti
mated with the help of the coefficients of water exchange and of wat
er consumption, (Drozdov and Grigorieva, 1963); its average value is
810 days. This is low in comparison with conventional residence
times for some other components of the hydrological cycle (UNESCO,
1971), but is comparable with biological water (conventional resi
dence time about 1 week) and water in river channels (about 2 weeks).
These components provide the dynamics of the water cycle, though they
together comprise only one millionth part of the earth's total water
supply. The stabilizing components of the hydrological cycle are
the oceans (conventional residence time about 4000 years), frozen
water (tens to thousands of years), deep ground water (up to tens of
thousands of years) and swamps (of the order of years). Intermediate
are soil water (24 weeks) and water in the unsaturated zone and sha
llow ground water (up to 1 year), which provide a link between the
dynamic and stable components.
These factors are the basis of the approximations introduced in
to waterbalance computations for different balances, which have been
described in the report. A knowledge of the appropriate residence
times for the components in a particular area is therefore helpful in
planning the frequency of measurements of each component in a water
balance study. Methods of estimating the frequency distribution of
residence times, based on Limiting assumptions regarding the flow
mechanism, have been described by Chapman (1970).
117
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I ANDERSON, E.R. 1954. Energy budget studies in waterloss in
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ANDERSON, E.R.: BAKER, D.R. 1967. Estimating incident terrestrial
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ANDREJANOV, V.G. 1957. Gidrologicheskie raschety pri proyectiro
vanii malykh i srednikh gidroelektrostantsiy (Hydrological computa
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AUBERT, E.J. 1972. International Field Year for the Great Lakes:
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AUSTRALIAN WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL, 197Oa. Evaporation from water
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BADESCU, V. 1974. Determinarea evaporatiei reale de la suprafata
lacurilor de dimensiuni medii (Determination of actual evaporation
from the surface of mediumsized lakes). Studii de hydrologie,
Bucharest, IMH, vol. 45.
* BAULNY, H.L. de; BAKER, D. 1970. Water &lance of Lake Victoria.
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* BAUXGARTNER, A. 1967. Energetic bases for differential vaporization
from forest and agricultural lands. In : Sopper, W.C.; Lull, H.W.
(eds.) Forest hydrology, pp. 381390, Oxford, Pergamon Press.
* BELL, J.P.; McCULLOCH, J.S.G. 1966. Soil moisture estimation by
the neutron scattering method in Britain. J. Hydrol. Vol. 4, p. 254
BLANEY, H.F. 1954a. Consumptive use of groundwater by phreato
phytes and hydro phytes. In: C.R. Ass. rnt. Hydrologie Sci. Rome,
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BLANEY, H.F. 1954b. Evapotranspiration measurements in western
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BLANEY, H.F. 1957. Evaporation study at Silver Lake in the Mojave
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BLANEY, H.F.: CRIDDLE, W.D. 1950. Determining water requirements in
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BOCHKOV, A.P. 1970. Estimation of precipitation as a water balance
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BOCHJCOV, A.P. ; SOROCHAN, O.G. 1972. Printsipialnye osnovy opredelenia
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References
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Methods/or wvlter bahnce computations
120
Re/erences
Gidrometeoizdat .
GIDROMETEOIZDAT. 1971b. Instructions for computation of flow from
reclaimed and nonreclaimed raised bogs. Leningrad, Gidrometeoizdat .
GILLILAND, J.A. 1969. Ground water instrumentation and observation
techniques. In : Proc. Hydrology Sympsium; No. 7: Instru.nenta
tion and observation techniques, pp. 3757. Victoria, National
Research Council of Canada.
GIUSCIO, F.J.; BARTLEY, T.R.; BECK, A.N. 1965. Water resources
problems generated by obnoxious plants. J. Watways H a b . Div. Am.
Soc. Civ. Engrs. vol. 91, pp. 4760.
GRAY, D.M. 1970. Handbook on the principles of hydrology. Ottawa,
Canadian National Committee for the IHD.
GREEN, M.J. 1970a. Effects of exposure on the catch of rain gauges.
J. Hydrol, New Zealand, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 5571.
GREEN, M.J. 1970b. Rain factors affecting the catch of rain gauges.
Meteorol. Mag. vol. 99; pp. 1020.
GUGK (CENTRAL OFFICE OF GEODESY AND CARTOGRAPHY); USSR ACADEMY OF
SCIENCES. 1964. Physicogeographical atlas of the world. Moscow,
GUGK .
HALL, F.R. 1968. Baseflow recessions; a review. Wat. Resour.
Res., vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 973983.
HARBECK, G.E. 1958. The Lake Hefner waterloss investigation. IASH,
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HARBECK, G.E. 1962. A practical field technique for measuring reser
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HARBECK, G.E. et. al. 1958. Water loss investigation :Lake Mead
studies. U.S: Geol. Survey. (Prof. paper 298).
HASLAM, S.M. 1970. The performance of Phragmites communis Trin. in
relation to water supply. Ann. Bot., vol. 34, pp. 867877.
HASTENRATH, S.L. 1967. Diurnal fluctuations of the atmospheric
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geophys. Res., vol. 72, No. 16, pp. 41194130.
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HOUNAM, C.E. 1958. Evaporation pan coefficients in Australia. In :
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121
Methods for urate? bakznce compulations
122
References
123
Methodsfor water balance compututions
124
References
125
Methodsfor water balance compuiutions
,126
References
127
(A.25)SC 74IXX.17fA