Commercial microwave link networks allow for the quantification of path integrated precipitation because the attenuation by hydrometeors correlates with rainfall between transmitter and receiver stations. The networks, operated and maintained by cellphone companies, thereby provide completely new and country wide precipitation measurements. As the density of traditional precipitation station networks worldwide is significantly decreasing, microwave link derived precipitation estimates receive increasing attention not only by hydrologists but also by meteorological and hydrological services. We investigate the potential of microwave derived precipitation estimates for streamflow prediction and water balance analyses, exemplarily shown for an orographically complex region in the German Alps (River Ammer). We investigate the additional value of link derived rainfall estimations combined with station observations compared to station and weather radar derived values. Our river runoff simulation system employs a distributed hydrological model at 100 × 100 m grid resolution. We analyze the potential of microwave link derived precipitation estimates for two episodes of 30 days with typically moderate river flow and an episode of extreme flooding. ... mehrThe simulation results indicate the potential of this novel precipitation monitoring method: a significant improvement in hydrograph reproduction has been achieved in the extreme flooding period that was characterized by a large number of local strong precipitation events. The present rainfall monitoring gauges alone were not able to correctly capture these events.