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Evaluation of FAO’s WaPOR product in estimating the reference evapotranspiration for stream flow modeling

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Abstract

The evapotranspiration is a key factor in the modeling of water supply, rainfall-runoff process, crop water demand, and drought. In the present study, the reference evapotranspiration (RET) data obtained from the FAO’s WaPOR product (FWP) are compared with the corresponding values estimated by the Modified Hargreaves-Samani (MHS) and Penman-Monteith (PM) methods. Then, the effect of using each of these RET estimations as the input of HBV hydrological model for simulating the runoff was evaluated based on the root mean square error (RMSE), correlation coefficient (R), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NSE), and one-way variance (ANOVA). The results showed that the validation of the remote sensing (RS) product in estimating the RET was acceptable. Also, the performance assessment of the HBV model showed that the model was well in simulating the runoff, as the NSE coefficient obtained 0.713, 0.763, and 0.760 during the validation period for the PM and MHS methods and FWP, respectively. Also, there was no significant difference between runoff simulation results using different methods of estimating RET. These results suggested that the FAO’s WaPOR product can be used as a good alternative to the PM and MHS methods where there is a shortage or lack of meteorological data.

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Data availability

The data used in this research will be available (by the corresponding author), upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to the Iran Meteorological Organization and the Regional Water Company of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari for providing the data needed in this research.

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The participation of Fatemeh Sohrabi Geshnigani and Mohammad Reza Golabi includes the data collection, running the model, analyzing the results, and writing the original draft, and the participation of Rasoul Mirabbasi includes analyzing the results and writing—editing the article.

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Correspondence to Rasoul Mirabbasi.

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Geshnigani, F.S., Mirabbasi, R. & Golabi, M.R. Evaluation of FAO’s WaPOR product in estimating the reference evapotranspiration for stream flow modeling. Theor Appl Climatol 144, 191–201 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-021-03534-y

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