The U.S. Geological Survey Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal

Open-File Report 2016-1212
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of the Interior South Central Climate Science Center and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
By: , and 



The U.S. Geological Survey Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal ( is a user-friendly interface that summarizes monthly historical and simulated future conditions for seven hydrologic and meteorological variables (actual evapotranspiration, potential evapotranspiration, precipitation, runoff, snow water equivalent, atmospheric temperature, and streamflow) at locations across the conterminous United States (CONUS).

The estimates of these hydrologic and meteorological variables were derived using a Monthly Water Balance Model (MWBM), a modular system that simulates monthly estimates of components of the hydrologic cycle using monthly precipitation and atmospheric temperature inputs. Precipitation and atmospheric temperature from 222 climate datasets spanning historical conditions (1952 through 2005) and simulated future conditions (2020 through 2099) were summarized for hydrographic features and used to drive the MWBM for the CONUS. The MWBM input and output variables were organized into an open-access database. An Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc., Web Feature Service allows the querying and identification of hydrographic features across the CONUS. To connect the Web Feature Service to the open-access database, a user interface—the Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal—was developed to allow the dynamic generation of summary files and plots  based on plot type, geographic location, specific climate datasets, period of record, MWBM variable, and other options. Both the plots and the data files are made available to the user for download


Suggested Citation

Bock, A.R., Hay, L.E., Markstrom, S.L., Emmerich, Chris, and Talbert, Marian, 2017, The U.S. Geological Survey Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1212, 21 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Portal Components
  • The Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal
  • Portal Operation
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Bias-Corrected Spatially Disaggregated CMIP3 Projection Ensembles Accessible in the Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal
  • Appendix 2. Bias-Corrected Spatially Disaggregated CMIP5 Projection Ensembles Accessible in Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The U.S. Geological Survey Monthly Water Balance Model Futures Portal
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1212
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161212
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Colorado Water Science Center
Description vii, 21 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y