Global High-Resolution Soil-Water Balance

The Global High-Resolution Soil-Water Balance dataset provides hydrological raster data describing actual evapotranspiration and soil water deficit with resolution of 30 arc seconds.


The Global High-Resolution Soil-Water Balance dataset provides hydrological raster data (ESRI Grid format) describing actual evapotranspiration and soil water deficit with the resolution of 30 arc seconds (~920 m at the equator). This Soil-Water Balance utilizes the WorldClim and Global-PET database as primary input. The method used to derive these datasets is described in the dataset documentation. The results highlight specifically the climatic influence on hydrological dimensions regulating vegetation suitability. This dataset is based on modeling and analyses by Antonio Trabucco (Forest Ecology and Management Research Group, K.U. Leuven), with the support of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI)and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and are provided online by the CGIAR-CSI Consortium for Spatial Information with the support of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

An additional soil-water balance explicit for both existing climate and vegetation conditions (GLC2000) is in preparation and should become available by the end of 2010 at the CGIAR-CSI web site. While soil-water balance explicit just for climate defines properly the hydrological suitability for potential vegetation (regardless of existing vegetation), the soil-water balance explicit for both climate and existing vegetation conditions can define more realistically the feedback of existing vegetation on regional hydrology. Soil conditions can hardly be accounted, as existing global soil geodatabase suffers from low specific local accuracy and local conditions are highly variable. For comments on database development, contact the developer: Antonio Trabucco (Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Italy).


Following files are available to download from figshare:

  • Mean annual AET
  • Monthly AET
  • Monthly Soil Water Stress
  • Priestley-Talor Alpha Coefficient
  • Documentation in PDF

Trabucco, Antonio; Zomer, Robert J. (2019): Global High-Resolution Soil-Water Balance. figshare. Fileset.


DISTRIBUTION: Users are prohibited from any commercial, non-free resale, or redistribution without explicit written permission from the CGIAR-CSI. Users should acknowledge the CGIAR-CSI Global Soil-Water Balance Database as the source used in the creation of any reports, publications, new datasets, derived products, or services resulting from the use of this dataset.

NO WARRANTY OR LIABILITY: Neither the author of this dataset nor CGIAR-CSI, can bear any responsibility for the consequences of using it, which are entirely the responsibility of the user. It is inevitable that a data-set of this size will contain some errors and inconsistencies. However, these have been kept to a minimum and when they are identified they are corrected when resources permit. Updates to this dataset are announced through the CGIAR-CSI web site.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND CITATION: We kindly ask any users to cite this data in any published material produced using this data, and if possible link web pages to the CGIAR-CSI website ( The creator of this data set retains full ownership rights over it. The data set may be freely used for non-commercial scientific and educational purposes, provided it is described as the CGIAR-CSI Global Soil-Water Balance Database and attributed to:

Trabucco, A., and Zomer, R.J. 2010. Global Soil Water Balance Geospatial Database. CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information. Published online, available from the CGIAR-CSI GeoPortal at

DATA USE AND DISTRIBUTION: This data has been generated by not-for-profit institutions with the objective of supplying accessible and useful information to developing country organizations. We actively encourage the use of these products for scientific purposes. This is not, however, the case for commercial purposes. The entire dataset is available for commercial use at a modest cost, but permission must be sought. Commercial sectors interested in using this data should contact Antonio Trabucco at Antonio.Trabucco (at)