Flood Estimation Handbook

The Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) gives guidance on estimating rainfall and river flood frequency in the UK and outlines methods for assessing the rarity of notable rainfalls or floods.

The FEH is the industry standard for estimating local flood risk and developing resilient infrastructure. The five-volume set was originally published in 1999 by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and was reprinted in 2008.

A free downloadable version is available from UKCEH:

The assessment methods outlined underpin the ReFH 2 and WINFAP 5 software products.

The FEH is an evolving programme of research. There have been important method updates since its first publication.

The descriptions of the latest version of the FEH statistical procedures for flood frequency estimation available through the WINFAP software are published in the Joint Defra / Environment Agency 2008 Science Report, ‘Improving the FEH Statistical Procedures for Flood Frequency Estimation’. Further information can be found in the WINFAP Technical Guidance.

The restated FSR rainfall runoff model method has been superseded by the Revitalised Flood Hydrograph ReFH 2 software package. The original method background to ReFH is published within the FEH Supplementary Report No. 1 and latest method updates within the ReFH 2 Technical Guidance. The original FEH rainfall frequency models were also updated in 2013 with the new methods published by Stewart et al. (2013).

The ReFH and WINFAP software products are supported by the UKCEH FEH Web Service which enables users to access catchment descriptor values and the FEH22 and FEH13 (and legacy FEH99) rainfall estimation procedures for over four million sites across the UK.

Read our article on the history of the FEH, current user requirements and our vision for the future. It includes a full timeline from the 1975 FSR to the latest FEH method developments, and we talk about the openness of FEH methods and how access to FEH has increased in recent years.