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Under simplifying conditions catchment-scale vapor pressure at the drying land surface can be calculated as a function of its watershed-representative temperature (<<i>T<sub>s</sub></i>>) by the wet-surface equation (WSE, similar to the wet-bulb equation in meteorology for calculating the dry-bulb thermometer vapor pressure) of the Complementary Relationship of evaporation. The corresponding watershed ET rate, <ET>, is obtained from the Bowen ratio with the help of air temperature, humidity and percent possible sunshine data. The resulting (<<i>T<sub>s</sub></i>>,<ET>) pair together with the wet-environment surface temperature (<<i>T<sub>ws</sub></i>>) and ET rate (ET<i><sub>w</sub></i>), obtained by the Priestley-Taylor equation, define a linear transformation on a monthly basis by which spatially distributed ET rates can be estimated as a sole function of MODIS daytime land surface temperature, <i>T<sub>s</sub></i>, values within the watershed. The linear transformation preserves the mean which is highly desirable. <<i>T<sub>ws</sub></i>>, in the lack of significant open water surfaces within the study watershed (Elkhorn, Nebraska), was obtained as the mean of the smallest MODIS <i>T<sub>s</sub></i> values each month. The resulting period-averaged (2000–2007) catchment-scale ET rate of 624 mm/yr is very close to the water-balance derived ET rate of about 617 mm/yr. The latter is a somewhat uncertain value due to the effects of (a) observed groundwater depletion of about 1m over the study period caused by extensive irrigation, and; (b) the uncertain rate of net regional groundwater supply toward the watershed. The spatially distributed ET rates correspond well with soil/aquifer properties and the resulting land use type (i.e. rangeland versus center-pivot irrigated crops).