One of the crucial tasks for climatic and hydrological scientists over the next several years will be validating land surface process parameterizations used in climate models. There is not, necessarily, a unique set of parameters to be used. Different scientists will want to attempt to capture processes through various methods “for example, Avissar and Verstraete, 1990”. Validation of some aspects of the available (and proposed) schemes' performance is clearly required. It would also be valuable to compare the behavior of the existing schemes [for example, Dickinson et al., 1991; Henderson‐Sellers, 1992a]. The WMO‐CAS Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (WGNE) and the Science Panel of the GEWEX Continental‐Scale International Project (GCIP) [for example, Chahine, 1992] have agreed to launch the joint WGNE/GCIP Project for Intercomparison of Land‐Surface Parameterization Schemes (PILPS). The principal goal of this project is to achieve greater understanding of the capabilities and potential applications of existing and new land‐surface schemes in atmospheric models. It is not anticipated that a single “best” scheme will emerge. Rather, the aim is to explore alternative models in ways compatible with their authors' or exploiters' goals and to increase understanding of the characteristics of these models in the scientific community.