The technology used in landfill covers is changing, and an alternative cover called the evapotranspiration (ET) landfill cover is coming into use. Important design requirements are prescribed by Federal rules and regulations for conventional landfill covers but not for ET landfill covers. There is no accepted hydrologic model for ET landfill cover design. This paper describes ET cover requirements and design issues, and assesses the accuracy of the EPIC and HELP hydrologic models when used for hydrologic design of ET covers. We tested the models against high-quality field measurements available from lysimeters maintained by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Coshocton, Ohio, and Bushland, Texas. The HELP model produced substantial errors in estimating hydrologic variables. The EPIC model estimated ET and deep percolation with errors less than 7% and 5%, respectively, and accurately matched extreme events with an error of less than 2% of precipitation. The EPIC model is suitable for use in hydrologic design of ET landfill covers.