As stated explicitly in the paper by Refsgaard et al. (‘Système Hydrologique Europeén (SHE): review and perspectives after 30 years development in distributed physically-based modelling’, published in Hydrology Research41 (5), 355–377), our paper was ‘confined to a historical analysis based on our own experience through our work at DHI and, to a minor extent, the initiatives and work by DHI's ASHE partners’. We therefore welcome the comments by Ewen et al. (in this issue's Comment paper, pp. 945–947) hereafter referred to as EOBBKPO, with the views of another ASHE partner. This provides us with the opportunity to state our views even more clearly.