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A case study of rationalization of a rain gage network in southwest England


  • P. E. O'Connell,

  • R. J. Gurney,

  • D. A. Jones,

  • J. B. Miller,

  • C. A. Nicholass,

  • M. R. Senior


Proposals for the redesign of the Wessex Water Authority daily and monthly rain gage networks in southwest England have been made, based on optimal estimation procedures. Accuracy requirements for point and areal rainfall estimates were assessed from a survey of the use of data from the existing network. Root mean square errors of interpolation were calculated for the existing networks of 333 daily gages and 379 monthly gages using estimates of the spatial autocorrelation of daily and monthly rainfall. Maps of the interpolation accuracy were drawn and compared with the accuracy required by users. The accuracies of areal estimates in certain areas were also assessed. Three network configurations were designed, of 75, 220, and 297 daily gages. The 220-gage network was found to provide satisfactory accuracies for most users, and has been adopted for implementation.

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