From Glossary of Meteorology
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  1. The combined processes through which water is transferred to the atmosphere from open water and ice surfaces, bare soil, and vegetation that make up the earth's surface.

  2. (Also called flyoff, water loss, total evaporation.) The total amount of water transferred from the earth to the atmosphere.

    This is the most general term for the result of this composite process; duty of water and consumptive use have more specific applications.