1. Need help? Please let us know in the UMEP Community.

  2. Please report issues with the manual on the GitHub Issues.

  3. Please cite SUEWS with proper information from our Zenodo page.

SUEWS: Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme#

Documentation Status

What is SUEWS?#

Surface Urban Energy and Water Balance Scheme (SUEWS) [Järvi et al., 2011, Ward et al., 2016] is a neighbourhood/local-scale urban land surface model to simulate the urban radiation, energy and water balances using only commonly measured meteorological variables and information about the surface cover. SUEWS utilises an evaporation-interception approach [Grimmond and Oke, 1991], similar to that used in forests, to model evaporation from urban surfaces.

Overview of SUEWS

Fig. 1 Overview of SUEWS#

The model uses seven surface types: paved, buildings, evergreen trees/shrubs, deciduous trees/shrubs, grass, bare soil and water. The surface state for each surface type at each time step is calculated from the running water balance of the canopy where the evaporation is calculated from the Penman-Monteith equation. The soil moisture below each surface type (excluding water) is taken into account. Horizontal movement of water above and below ground level is allowed.

The seven surface types considered in SUEWS

Fig. 2 The seven surface types considered in SUEWS#

How to get SUEWS?#

Please follow the guidance in Installation to get SUEWS.

How to use SUEWS?#

  • For existing users:

    Overview of changes in this version, see Version 2020a (released on 14 May 2020). If these changes impact your existing simulations, please see appropriate parts of the manual. It may be necessary to adapt some of your input files for for the current version.


    A helper python script, SUEWS table converter, is provided to help facilitate the conversion of input files between different SUEWS versions.

    Additionally, the manuals for previous versions can be accessed in respective sections under Version History.

  • For new users:

    Before performing SUEWS simulations, new users should read the overview Introduction, then follow the steps in Workflow of using SUEWS to prepare input files for SUEWS.

    Note there are tutorials learning about running SUEWS available the tutorial.

How to get help in using SUEWS?#

Please let us know in the UMEP Community. The developers and other users are willing to help you.

How has SUEWS been used?#

The scientific details and application examples of SUEWS can be found in SUEWS-related Publications.

How to cite SUEWS?#

Please go to our Zenodo repository for a proper citation of SUEWS.


Visit the repositories below for different citation styles.

How to support SUEWS?#

  1. Cite SUEWS appropriately in your work.

  2. Contribute to the development.

  3. Report issues via the GitHub page.

  4. Provide suggestions and feedback.