Today, a new FEH web service is launched which provides online access to the catchment descriptors and rainfall model outputs used in the FEH methods. These data have previously been available on a CD-ROM. 

The Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) and associated software is the industry standard for estimating UK flood risk.

The FEH Web Service updates and replaces the FEH CD-ROM application and supports all the previous export formats for use in the WINFAP3 and ReFH2 modelling software.

The FEH Web Service provides the data at the heart of the flood estimation procedures, including the release of the new FEH13 rainfall model, and the ReFH2 software package, which includes improvements to the design hydrograph modelling approach. ReFH2 now has the ability to model design hydrographs using both the improved FEH13 and the original FEH99 rainfall models.

FEH methods are recommended methods for estimating runoff rates and volumes within the new CIRIA SuDs guidance.

FEH Web Service

Project leader Lisa Stewart from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “We recognise that many users will use the FEH methods only occasionally and may not necessarily be expert hydrologists. A core driver of our recent software development work is to reduce the costs of access for the occasional user and to provide clear, easy to use software that meets the needs of users with a wide range of experience. Informed by feedback from users, the methods and software have been frequently revised and updated to ensure that the best science is available to industry.”

The principal new features of the FEH Web Service are:

  • A modern web-based map interface with detailed Ordnance Survey mapping at a variety of scales ranging from 1:250,000 to 1:10,000, with the ability to adjust the transparency of contextual map layers, such as the urban extent or BGS hydrogeology.
  • The ability to export detailed map images.
  • The ability to export catchment boundaries as ESRI shape files.
  • Rainfall depth-duration-frequency (DDF) modelling using the latest FEH13 method as well as the legacy 1999 method.
  • More detailed graphs plotting DDF information which can be exported as an image.
  • The fact that, as a web-based system, it does not require installation on your PC, either at the point of initial use, or when future features are added or the underlying data sources change.
  • A pricing model that charges users according to their use of the system (pay-per-use), and which also provides many features free of charge.

The key features in common with the FEH CD-ROM are:

  • The ability to define catchment boundaries across the UK, overlain on a map.
  • A searchable gazetteer of UK place names.
  • The ability to search for and view NRFA gauging stations.
  • The ability to view and export catchment descriptors from these catchments.
  • The ability to perform DDF calculations for these catchments, both on a catchment average basis and at the nearest 1 kilometre grid location.

The FEH Web Service is a product of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and is developed and maintained under contract by Wallingford HydroSolutions. It can be accessed from the CEH website.


For more information on the Flood Estimation Handbook go to

More information on the ReFH2 software 

Direct link to the Flood Estimation Handbook web service 

PDF icon FEH Fact Sheet V2.pdf link to the FEH Web Service fact sheet and FAQs ( v2 updated 16 November 2015)

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