JBA instrumental in the creation of Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) dataset

A Potential Evapotranspiration dataset recently released as Open Data by the Environment Agency, saw our Systems and Technical Science teams play a key role in its creation.

Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is key data, which along with rainfall data is used in surface and groundwater modelling by the Environment Agency (EA), UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH), water companies, consultants, and academia.

Issues relating to the accuracy of previous PET calculations led to the creation of an entirely new dataset, which was developed and delivered by our Software Development and Technical Science teams, with assistance and review from the EA, Met Office and UKCEH.

This new gridded daily dataset offers greater accuracy and highlights both potential evapotranspiration (PET) and rainfall-interception corrected potential evapotranspiration (PETI). Displayed on a 1km grid, the dataset covers England at a daily timestep for the period 1961 to present, offering a range of benefits and applications.

Over the course of this six-year project we not only developed the underlying meteorological datasets, but also several tools used by the EA to allow routine updates and analysis of the datasets. This required input from both our Software Development and Technical Science teams, which included:

  • A weather station data assessment
  • Station data homogenisation
  • A Technical report on homogenised station data
  • A Technical report on gridding station data and calculating PET and PETI
  • Coding and delivery of gridded weather datasets
  • Coding and delivery of PET and PETI datasets
  • Coding NetCDF tools
  • A Technical report on open water evaporation estimation (OWE) approaches
  • Coding of OWE tool

Ultimately, the use of this new dataset will lead to improved model calibrations and less resource spent trying to calibrate models with poorer quality input dataset. The greater level of detail available also means that the dataset will be integral when investigating the impacts of climate change and land management on river flows, managing water resources, and forecasting floods.

Want to know more?

For more information about the key role we played on this project please contact Kay Shelton.

Further details about our expertise in systems, software and data can be found here.

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