Rainfall intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) relationships describe rainfall intensity as a function of duration and return period, and they are significant for water resources planning, as well as for the design of hydraulic constructions. In this study, the two-parameter lognormal (LN2) and Gumbel distributions are used as parent distribution functions. Derivation of the IDF relationship by this approach is quite simple, because it only requires an appropriate function of the mean of annual maximum rainfall intensity as a function of rainfall duration. It is shown that the monotonic temporal trend in the mean rainfall intensity can successfully be described by this parametric function which comprises a combination of the parameters of the quantile function a(T) and completely the duration function b(d) of the separable IDF relationship. In the case study of Aegean Region (Turkey), the IDF relationships derived through this simple generalization procedure (SGP) may produce IDF relationships as successfully as does the well-known robust estimation procedure (REP), which is based on minimization of the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test statistic with respect to the parameters and of the duration function. Because the approach proposed herein is based on lower-order sample statistics, risks and uncertainties arising from sampling errors in higher-order sample statistics were significantly reduced. The authors recommend to establish the separable IDF relationships by the SGP for a statistically favorable two-parameter parent distribution, because it uses the same assumptions as the REP does, it maintains the observed temporal trend in the mean additionally, it is easy to handle analytically and requires considerably less computational effort. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.