Med-Hycos - the Project

The Project



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The Mediterranean


Climate and Weather

Mediterranean Sea

Fresh Water


Knowledge base


Database Statistics

Countries Data








Report n°2

Montpellier, March 5 - 7, 1996



The meeting was held in the conference room of the newly renovated premises of the Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) in the Lavalette building of the French Institute of Scientific Research for Development in Co-operation (ORSTOM). Mr Marc Morell, coordinator of MED-HYCOS PRC, and chief of the Operational Hydrology Unit of ORSTOM, welcomed the participants (see list in Annex 1). Mr Naginder S. Sehmi, representative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Mr Geoffrey Matthews, representative of the World Bank, thanked the government of France and ORSTOM for hosting the PRC and for providing excellent, well equipped office space and a scientific and technical team. Of the Initial Coordinating Team, the representative of Tunisia was unable to participate. The meeting welcomed Mr S. Kessler, Director of the Hydrology Service, Israel, to the team. Mr Jean-Marie Fritsch (ORSTOM) was appointed chairperson and Mrs Liliana Fugaciu (Romania) was appointed as co-chairperson. The meeting agreed :
  • to combine items 7 (institutional arrangements: the Regional Cooperation Group) and 8 (support to the PRC running cost) of the tentative agenda into a new item 7 (institutional arrangements and support to PRC), and
  • to include in the agenda "Public relations and publicity" under the new item 8 (fund mobilization).
The amended agenda is given in Annex 2. Mr D. Dimitrov (Bulgaria), Mr P. Kerhervé (WMO) and Mr G. Matthews agreed to be the rapporteurs.


The meeting noted that ORSTOM had rented in June 1995, 277 m² of office accommodation in the Lavalette building near the Montpellier ORSTOM Centre, and rehabilitated it at a cost of about 600 000 FF. (US$ 120 000). An area of about 100 m² is assigned to PRC. The Centre is equipped with a Sun work station connected to a powerful PC computer and with a METEOSAT Data Receiving Station (MDRS). Additional hardware and software (Oracle and DOS) would be installed shortly. The estimated cost of furniture and equipments is 190 000 FF (US$ 38 000). Staff currently working with the PRC coordinator (Mr Morell) are : Jacques Colombani (Hydrologist-Management), Patrick Raous (Hydrologist-regional data base), Pierre Marchand (Electronician-equipment and implementation), J.Philippe Chazarin (Data processing), Bernard Thébé (Hydrologist-training) and one administrative secretary.


3.1. The meeting considered the report of activity prepared by the PRC for the period May 1995 to February 1996. The meeting noted that in less than a year the PRC has been able to establish itself and undertake a number of constructive activities including preparation of technical specification of DCPs, mobilization of funds, preliminary design of the regional data base and of the MED-HYCOS server, and participation in relevant conferences to promote MED-HYCOS. With a better definition of the role of the PRC and the detailed implementation programme which was finalized by the meeting, the PRC would be in a good position to lead MED-HYCOS from the conceptual and design phase to the operational one.

3.2. The meeting had request the PRC to prepare a shorter version of its report of activity and circulate it to all participating countries (Annex 3).


The meeting noted that WMO had placed an order in February 1996 for the purchase of 20 METEOSAT-based DCPs from CEIS-TM, Toulouse, France, which was selected from five bidders, because its offer conformed best with the tender specifications and price. The equipment was expected to be delivered in June 1996 to the PRC where it would be controlled before dispatch to the countries.


5.1. The meeting noted that WMO had finalized the text of the draft project document in the UNDP format, and that it was being sent to the participating countries, which are eligible for receiving technical assistance, through the national UNDP offices with copies to all focal points and participants of the MED-HYCOS Scientific and Technical Meeting of May 1995; and through the WMO Permanent Representatives in the other countries. The document would be finalized on the basis of the comments received from the countries and from the meeting itself.

5.2. The meeting noted that the document covered the basins of the Mediterranean and the Black Seas, and provided an umbrella for mobilizing resources from other support agencies and countries. It expressed its appreciation to the World Bank for providing an initial cash contribution of US$ 1.7 million which had enabled WMO to launch the project operations without much undue delays. The meeting also recognized that the funds so far granted by the World Bank were earmarked for activities in the Mediterranean Sea basin. The implementation of the project would be extended to the Black Sea as new funds became available. WMO was requested to expedite the signing of the project document.


The main purposes of the meeting was to guide the PRC to implement its programme for the implementation of Phase I of the MED-HYCOS project. The programme of main activities as developed by the meeting is given in Annex 5

6.1. Installation of the DCPs

6.1.1. The meeting agreed that the designation of the sites to be equipped with the MED-HYCOS DCPs was the responsibility of the countries. The meeting also agreed that the criteria established in May 1995 for the selection of these sites should be used and that the first 20 DCPs should be located to allow easy access for maintenance, operation and training purposes.

6.1.2 The meeting agreed that, since the funds available were limited, it was more urgent to expand the network than to equip the DCPs with additional sensors, especially for water quality variables. Some participants emphasized the fact that EU might be interested to support the water quality component.

6.1.3. Considering the list of countries eligible to receive DCPs, the meeting noted that Egypt, which already had a number of DCPs installed on the Nile river, might not request additional ones from the MED-HYCOS project. Therefore, Egypt as well as the other non-eligible countries in the Mediterranean basin should be requested to propose two or more existing stations equipped with DCP to form part of the MED-HYCOS initial regional network.

6.1.4. In line with the recommendations in the report of May 1995, the meeting emphasized that, after the delivery of the DCPs, each country would be the owner of the equipment received and will therefore be responsible for its operation and maintenance. WMO will arrange for import tax exemption, if required.

6.1.5. The meeting agreed that it would be necessary to install, for a limited period of time, one DCP at the PRC for testing, software development and training purposes.

6.1.6. The meeting agreed that a small group of 4 to 5 technicians should be trained by the manufacturer as soon as possible and before the delivery of the DCPs to the countries. These technicians should be able to assist, as necessary, the countries for the installation of the DCPs and to further train local personnel in operation and maintenance. The meeting especially urged Spain and Italy to second technicians to the PRC for that purpose.

6.2. Regional data base

6.2.1. After a general exchange of view on the issue of setting up a regional data base, the meeting established a working group to look at it in detail. The working group prepared an outline of the report which is given in Annex 4. The meeting requested the PRC to develop a short report based on this outline clearly stating the purpose and objectives of the regional data base, and then to circulate it to all participating countries seeking their comments on and agreement to the structure and operation of the regional data base.

Data dissemination and exchange systems

6.2.2. Mr P. Kerhervé, from the World Weather Watch (WWW) at WMO Secretariat, briefed the meeting on the existing segments of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of WMO in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, which MED-HYCOS might use for data collection and exchange. The meeting considered different fluxes of information within the MED-HYCOS project, mainly:
  • Transmission of raw DCP data from the METEOSAT operator to the MED-HYCOS national centre of the countries in which the DCP(s) are installed;
  • Exchange of validated observational data between the MED-HYCOS centres concerned (Regional Pilot Centre and national centres);
  • Exchange of processed data between the MED-HYCOS centres;
  • Exchange of information between the MED-HYCOS centres and other centres involved in other programmes. The exchange of environmental data should be envisaged (particularly pollution measurements, selection of WMO's WWW meteorological sets available on the GTS, etc.). This exchange will include the exchange of data between the database management centres (such as the GRDC, Burlington centre and the FRIEND programme bases) and the PRC.
6.2.3. The meeting recognized that the issue of data exchange and dissemination was extremely important. The possibility for all participating countries to receive data from the MED-HYCOS network of DCPs within the same time frame, was seen as a key activity which will sustain the project by generating a sense of real working partnership.

6.2.4. The meeting agreed that the immediate action required is to define and start implementing the most cost-effective integrated telecommunication systems required to satisfy the need of MED-HYCOS to exchange data. Therefore, it recommended that WMO and the PRC should study the possible use of the GTS, in particular taking into account the possibilities of the national agencies in MED-HYCOS in participating to have access to the GTS.

6.2.5. The meeting also agreed that all MED-HYCOS partners should have access to Internet (E-mail, FTP) but it should not be used for exchange of data in real-time.

6.2.6. Finally, the meeting agreed on a serie of actions which are listed under Objective 3 of the implementation programme (Annex 5).

6.3. Improvement of national hydrological services and networks

The meeting recognized that the installation of DCPs was a means of introducing new technologies and promoting exchange and dissemination of data and information; but the main objective of MED/HYCOS was to assist the national hydrological agencies so that they could improve their services to the uses of water data and information and thus contribute to the socio-economic development as well as safeguard the environment. Of particular importance is the participation of the hydrologists in the decision-making process of technical and policy aspects of water resources development and management. Immediate Objective 4 (Improvement of national services and networks notably through provision of new equipment and development of related training programmes) in the project document was intended to assess the status and needs of the hydrological agencies, in particular for monitoring the quality of surface water and groundwater sources, and to mobilize external funds, if required. A good quality national data base, which is continuously updated, would enable the hydrological agencies to assess the state of the national water resources at frequent intervals, and share its data and products within the sub-region and the region as a whole.


In the context of the institutional arrangements for operation and management of MED-HYCOS described in the project document, the meeting recalled that the PRC, the under supervision of the Regional Cooperating Group (RCG), was responsible for implementing the activities of MED-HYCOS. In preparing the programme and implementation schedules, the PRC will be assisted by the RCG or a small group of experts, which it might decide to set up, and by WMO. However, the PRC had the duty of ensuring that the programme was carried out. For this purpose, it was asked to step up its communication links with officially designated focal points and to guide them when needed, for example, in selecting sites for DCPs. It should actively seek cooperation of experts from participating counties, who could be seconded to the PRC, or used as consultants for specific tasks. Therefore the PRC should identify items of the programme which could be undertaken by participating countries either in the spirit of regional cooperation or as a sub-contract, and advertise accordingly. The meeting noted that the annual recurrent operating cost of the PRC should be shared by the project through an agreement with WMO, the Executing Agency.


8.1. The representative of the World Bank informed the meeting that the contribution of the Bank to MED-HYCOS could not be more than 15% of the total budget of the project. It was therefore necessary to mobilize funds from other sources and also to determine government contributions. For example, the additional cost of upgrading an observing station for inclusion in MED-HYCOS and the salaries of personnel who might be working at the national level for the project should be included as contribution to the project.

8.2. The meeting agreed that the existing or planned national and international projects which might be related to MED-HYCOS should be well coordinated with MED-HYCOS, in order to avoid duplication and to promote cooperation. For example, links should be established with the project on setting up a trilateral data base in the Middle East sub-region and with FRIEND-AMHY.

8.3. Mr Alessi (Italy) informed the meeting that he had discussions with DG1 of the European Union and that EU (Department for Mediterrean) was interested in MED-HYCOS. It would like to receive from WMO a brief description of the project (see 9.2), as soon as possible, and also an expression of support to it from the participation countries. Support from the EU countries would be particularly valuable. The meeting also requested all countries to endeavour to seek from their own governments cash support for the project.

8.4. The meeting agreed that public relations and publicity would be extremely important not only for seeking funds from external and national sources for the efficient and effective functioning of national hydrological services and MED-HYCOS, but also for establishing links with the user community. The PRC was requested to develop a programme for this purpose. In this connection several suggestions were made:

  • A thin brochure for reproduction nationally,
  • Newsletter and dissemination of informations about the project on Internet W3
  • Dissemination of processed data in pictorial/graphical form in hard copy and through Internet,
  • Logo and short text to be disseminated to countries for translation to national language and reproduction,
  • Good well-targeted mailing list.


9.1. The meeting reviewed the implementation programme drafted by Mr G. Matthews on the basis of the views expressed by the participants. It was agreed that this programme, which will serve as guidance to the PRC for the implementation of the project, should normally follow the five objectives of the Project Document. The programme approved by the meeting is attached as Annex 5 to the report.

9.2. The meeting also reviewed and contributed to a draft version of the project profile to be sent to EU in Brussels and requested WMO to send it as soon as possible. The version sent to Brussels is attached as Annex 6 to this report.


The participants considered and adopted the draft final report of the meeting with its annexes during the last session. The meeting requested the Secretariat to undertake all editorial changes deemed necessary to finalize the report and to circulate it to all members of the Initial Coordinating Group and to all the participating countries.


11.1. In their closing addresses, both the representative of the World Bank, Mr G. Matthews and the representative of the WMO Secretariat, Mr N. Sehmi, thanked the PRC for its warm hospitality and the excellent facilities provided. Mr Marc Morell, PRC coordinator joined his voice to that of Mr Matthews and Sehmi to thank all the participants for their strong support and active involvement in MED-HYCOS.

11.2.The meeting was closed on Thursday 7 March at 17.00 hours.

Participants MED-HYCOS - 5-6-7 March 1996

ALESSI Filippo Councellor
Department for National Technical Services
Presidency of the Council of Ministers Via Curtatone 3
Rome 00185
(39 6) 4959176
(39 6) 4440701
(39 6) 4959179  
COLOMBANI Jacques Directeur de Recherche Laboratoire d'Hydrologie
911 Avenue Agropolis
BP 5045
34032 Montpellier cedex 1, France
(33) 04 67636422 (33) 04 67411806
DIMITROV Dobri Head Forecasting Department National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology 66 Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd
1784 Sofia, Bulgarie
(359 2) 882308
(359 2) 722363
(359 2) 701005
(359 2) 884494
Department for National Technical Services
Presidency of the Council Minister Via Curtatone 3
Rome 00185
(39 6) 44442673 (39 6) 4959179  
FRITSCH Jean Marie Directeur de Recherche ORSTOM 911 Avenue Agropolis
BP 5045
34032 Montpellier cedex 1
(33) 04 67617555 (33) 04 67411806
FUGACIU Liliana Head of Informatic Systems Designing Team National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology Sos Bucuresti
Ploiesti 97
71552 Bucarest
(40 1) 3129842 (40 1) 3129843
18 Avenue Edouard Belin
BP 2102
31055 Toulouse cedex
(33) 05 61274215 (33) 05 61282905
HUBERT Pierre Président du CNFSH CIG
Ecole des Mines
35 Rue St Honoré
77305 Fontainebleau
(33) 01 64694740 (33) 01 64694703
KERHERVE Pierre Fonctionnaire Scientifique Département de la Veille Météorologique Mondiale
41 Avenue Giuseppe Motta
Case Postale 2300
1211 Genève 2
(41 22) 7308218 (41 22) 7342326
KESLER Shmuel Director Hidrological Service of Israel 50 Yermyahou St
P.O. Box 6381, Romena II 91063
(972 2) 381101 (972 2) 388704  
KUFFNER Ulrich Ingénieur Principal des Ressources en Eau Banque Mondiale 1818 H Street N W
Washington DC 20433
(1 202) 4737090 (1 202) 4771981  
LANG Michel Représentant FRIEND-AMHY Division Hydrologie Hydraulique
3 Bis Quai Chauveau
69336 Lyon cedex 09
(33) 04 72208760 (33) 04 78477875
MANGION John Head Water Production Water Services Corporation Qormi Road
Luqa LQA05
(356) 234515
(356) 234130
(356) 223016
MARCHAND Pierre Ingénieur d’Etudes ORSTOM 911 Avenue Agropolis
BP 5045
34032 Montpellier cedex 1
(33) 04 67636421 (33) 04 67411806
MATTHEWS Geoffrey Water Resource Engineer Banque Mondiale 1818 H Street N W
Washington DC
20433 USA
(1 202) 4730354 (1 202) 5221142
MORELL Marc Responsable du Laboratoire d'Hydrologie ORSTOM 911 Avenue Agropolis
BP 5045
34032 Montpellier cedex 1, France
(33) 04 67615 25 (33) 04 67411806
NICOLAS Hubert   District Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Technopole 275 Rue Léon Blum, BP 9531, 34045 Montpellier cedex 01, France (33) 04 67136000 (33) 04 67136110  
PIEYNS Serge Senior Scientific Officer Département de l'Hydrologie et des Ressources en Eau
41 Avenue Giuseppe Motta
Case Postale 2300
1211 Genève 2
(41 22) 7308339 (41 22) 7348250
RODRIGUEZ FONTAL Alberto Chief of Hydraulic Resources Services Ministerio de Obras Publicas, Transportes y Medio Ambiente Paseo Castellana
67 Despacho
28071 Madrid
(34 1) 5977617 (34 1) 5978551  
RUSSO Mario Ingénieur Ufficio Idrografico e Mareografico Nationale L/go Frentoni
65100 Pescara
(39 85) 63933 (39 85) 691700  
SEHMI Naginder Senior Scientific Officer OMM 41 Avenue Giuseppe Motta
Case Postale 2300
1211 Genève 2, Suisse
(41 22) 7308358 (41 22) 7348250
SOULIE Michel Ingénieur
Chef de Projet
VERSEAU Domaine de Lavalette
859 Rue J.F. Breton
34390 Montpellier cedex 01, France
(33) 04 67610400 (33) 04 67522829


First Meeting of the MED-HYCOS Interim Coordinating Group
(Montpellier, Pilot Regional Centre (PRC), 5 to 7 March 1995)


1. Opening and organization of work
  • Welcome of participants by WMO and PRC
  • Appointment of the chairperson
  • Approval of the Agenda
  • Designation of rapporteurs
2. Presentation of and visit to the PRC facilities

3. General presentation and discussion of the activities undertaken since May 1995 by the PRC

4. Information on procurement of equipment by WMO

5. Consideration of the project document prepared by WMO

6. Future activities

  • 6.1 Installation of the DCP
    • Selection of the stations to be equipped with DCPs
    • Installation of the DCPs in the countries
    • Training (needs and organization)
  • 6.2 The regional data base
    • Design and operation of the regional data base
    • Design and operation of MED-HYCOS data dissemination and exchange systems, including the use of WMO's GTS and the Internet network
    • Training (needs and organization)
  • 6.3 Improvement of national hydrological services and networks
7. Institutional arrangements and support to PRC

8. Funds mobilization

  • Public Relations and Publicity
  • Parallel meetings working group on regional data base and drafting committee
9. Any other business
  • Consideration of the draft implementation programme
  • Consideration of the draft project profile
10. Approval of the report of meeting

11. Closure of the meeting


Report of activities of Pilot Regional Centre


The May 1995 Montpellier meeting endorsed the Implementation Plan and established a MED-HYCOS Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) to, notably, assure the co-ordination of the implementation of the project and serve as a focal point of a regional network grouping of all the participating countries. The same meeting also established an initial co-ordinating team to prepare for the operational startup phase and to participate in the definition of objectives for the PRC. Participation of countries in the initial coordination team is based on the specific contributions made in certain fields where they have an acknowledged amount of experience and competence. This team is composed of :
  • Representatives of the following countries : Bulgaria, France, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain, and Tunisia;
  • Representatives of the organizations : WMO, FRIEND-AMHYand MEDIAS France;
  • Institution hosting the Pilot Regional Centre : ORSTOM
The PRC and possibly other additional structures (Sub-regional Centres) which might be set up, as necessary, during the project implementation, will be responsible, together with the national agencies of the participating countries, for the implementation of the strategy adopted by the Regional Cooperation Group.

The strategy for the MED-HYCOS is to create an open Regional Centre, for coordinating and facilitating the operation of a network supported by the countries to be progressively set up. Innovative technology will be used to develop information and data exchange within the region.

In the first two-year stage (up to June 1996), it is envisaged that about 150 DCP stations in 28 participating countries would be identified and 20 of them instrumented in the Mediterranean Sea basin and in the Black Sea basin.

Locations for key stations mainly among those existing, will be identified jointly by the PRC and WMO, in agreement with the participating countries. Where required, a full range of instruments will be provided. The existing stations might need to be upgraded to meet the MED-HYCOS standards, especially to measure a core set of variables agreed upon by the participating countries. The data will be measured and recorded automatically to the extent possible. The collected data will be transmitted using Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) over the Data Collection System (DCS) of the geostationary meteorological satellite METEOSAT, as part of WMO's programmes. The use of the METEOSAT DCS will allow each of the participating countries and territories and the Regional Centre to receive, in "real or near real-time", data collected by the DCPs of the monitoring network, through ground-based METEOSAT Data Receiving Stations (MDRSs) and/or through the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) operated by WMO. These techniques, based on "intelligent" sensors and satellite data transmission, will avoid many of the current problems of data collection by minimizing human errors and operation and maintenance costs.

The participating countries have agreed that the startup phase be undertaken by a Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) operating under the auspices of WMO. For obvious reasons of economy of means and the need for the project to be implemented as quickly as possible, the PRC has been installed in one of the region's existing establishments (ORSTOM Centre in Montpellier, France), which has human and technical means that correspond to the project objectives. Later, the participating countries will agree to the operational structures needed (Regional, Sub-regional Centres, etc.) and the location of these structures.

The primary role of the PRC will be liaison, co-ordination and initiation of project implementation activities. The PRC is intended to serve as a focal point of a regional network grouping of all participating countries. Therefore, in association with all the programme partners, the PRC will notably :

  • assist the RCG in the strategic, technical and operational conduct of the project;
  • assist the national bodies in their technical tasks and training activities;
  • hold regular meetings of hydrologists and water resources specialists to enhance collaboration between them.
WMO will provide technical and scientific support to the PRC and will supervise the implementation of the project. WMO will also facilitate access to the METEOSAT DCS and to existing segments of the GTS for data transmission, exchange and dissemination.

Chronology of activities May 1995 - February 1996

During the first 10th months, the main events were :
  • 19 May 1995 : resolution for the setting up of the Pilot Regional Centre
  • 25 May 1995 : visit to an exhibition of hydrometeorological equipment in Geneva
  • 31 May - 1 June 1995 : attending the EURISY colloquium in Madrid
  • 19 May - 15 June 1995 : in collaboration with the Initial co-ordinating team, definition of the technical specifications of the data collecting platforms to be used in MED-HYCOS networking
  • 10 July : presentation of the programme MED-HYCOS to the representatives of the scientific organisations of Agropolis
  • 15 July - 5 September 1995 : preparation and transmission of a request of funding to the European Community, in collaboration with Italy and Romania
  • 15 September 1995 : decision for the procurement of computers of the regional data bank
  • 1 June - 28 September 1995 : repair and modification of office rooms for the Pilot Regional Centre
  • 1 June 1995 - 31 January 1996 : reception of proposals of the countries for the sites of future data collecting platforms
  • 1 October 1995 : installation of the Pilot Regional Centre in Lavalette offices (Montpellier)
  • 26 October : meeting of the French partners of MED-HYCOS
  • October : implementation W3 Med-Hycos site on Internet
  • November and December 1995 : in collaboration with WMO, selection of the equipment for the Data collecting platform and preparation of the project document for 1st phase
  • December 1995 : procurement of computers for the Pilot Regional Centre
  • January 1996 : approval of WMO for the selection of equipment for the Data collecting platforms and preparation of the order, first discussion about the choice of the first twenty sites of DCP.

Details about the activities of the PRC

Visit to an exhibition of hydrometeorological equipment in Geneva :
In this exhibition, the main manufacturers of hydrometeorological equipment were present. This was an opportunity to be informed of the latest equipment in the market.

EURISY colloquium in Madrid
The topic of the colloquium was the remote sensing methodologies used in Mediterranean area. It was an opportunity for presenting MED-HYCOS to the participants.

Definition of the technical specifications of the Data collecting platforms
A detailed list of technical specifications, to be used for the preparation of the tender made by WMO and published in August 1995, has been established in agreement with WMO and the members of the Initial co-ordinating team. These specifications have been established to comply with the probable using conditions to obtain a safe and convivial use.

Preparation and submission of a request for a funding of the European commission
Following the EURISY colloquium, a request for funding was prepared by a limited group because of a lack of time (deadline was 15 September). The group was made up of Pilot Regional Centre, Italy (DSNT),Romania (INHM) and France (ORSTOM).
This request was not successful because it didn't fit well enough with the subject proposed by the European Commission. We were said that a new request could be more successful in 1996 in a new proposition of the Commission.

Regional data bank
The draft project of the regional data base system has been prepared during September 1995.

Office and laboratory spaces provided by ORSTOM to the Pilot Regional Centre
From June 1995 ORSTOM begin to repair and to transform a space to be used by the Pilot Regional Centre in Montpellier. Furniture was also bought. Installation of the Centre was effective from the 1 of October. A meeting of the French partners of MED-HYCOS was organised in that place on 26 of October.

Selection of equipment for the data collecting platforms
In October and November 1995, WMO made a comparative examination of the five bids received for the tender published in August. That tender have been transmitted to the manufacturers able to procure the whole integrated equipment and granted of an agreement of EUMETSAT organisation for the use of the METEOSAT satellite. A systematic comparison of the five answers against the list of specifications of the tender was made to check the conformity of the equipment, following WMO has chosen the better offer, considering the level of conformity of the device and the price. WMO has sent an order to the selected manufacturer (CEIS-TM, Toulouse) at the beginning of February 1996 for 20 data collection platforms and additional and spare parts. There is a five months delay for the delivery. It remains to chose the sites where to install these DCP. Most of the countries of the Regional Co-operation Group partners of MED-HYCOS have proposed a list of stations where they envisage to set a DCP. The choice will be made among these sites.

Preparation of a project document
WMO has prepared between November 1995 and January 1996 a draft of a first project document related to the use of the funding of World Bank (1 700 000 US $). That document was submitted to the Pilot Regional Centre for advising.

Procurement of computers
In December ORSTOM has bought computers for the setting up of the regional data bank in the Pilot Regional Centre, particularly a computer SUN and another powerful micro-computer. Furthermore a project for the installation of an optical cable is being evaluated, through which data will be transmitted by RENATER system toward INTERNET.
Experimentation of transmission of data through METEOSAT satellite has been made on the site of the Pilot Regional Centre.
In short, the Med-Hycos activities in 1996 will be improved with the support of the Initial Coordinating Group and of the countries. The activities planed in 1996 are :

  • final selection of the sites of MED-HYCOS stations,
  • reception, control and shipping of the first DCP,
  • support and assistance in the countries for the installation and the implementation of the DCP's,
  • organize training activities for DCP's,managing and maintenance
  • implementation of the METEOSAT reception station in the PRC
  • building of the regional data base
  • study of the possible exchange data systems
  • inventory of the participation proposed by the different partners : countries and organisations,
  • prepare national and regional agreements for the implementation of MED - HYCOS
  • seeking external funds

Functioning of the PRC

The project document forecasts than the host country for the PRC will provide : office space and part of the furniture for the PRC, a scientific and technical team and its salaries, part of the recurrent costs limited to electricity, phone, water, security system of the office space. Other costs will be supported partly by the project partly by the participating countries.
The activities of the Pilot Regional Centre started after the scientific and technical meeting in May 1995.

Computer equipment
For equiping the PRC office, some furnitures have been bought by Orstom.
For improving regional data base, a Sun work station and a PC computer have been bought by ORSTOM. Additional software (Oracle license and Dos software) and hardware (printers, modems, etc.) would be bought in 1996.
The global cost of these equipments is about 190 000 F.

The activities of the Pilot Regional Centre take place in the Lavalette building rent by ORSTOM since June 1995. The space assigned to the RPC is available, in fact, since October 1995. Among the 277 m² rent by ORSTOM, about 100 m² are attributed to the RCP activities. The part of the rent price for PRC would be about 60 000 FF for one year.
NB : The expense engaged by ORSTOM for the rehabilitation of the building were about 600 000 FF H.T.

ORSTOM staff in the Pilot Regional Centre
Marc Morell, Research engineer, in charge of the Hydrology Laboratory and of the Operational Hydrological Unit of ORSTOM, is the co-ordinator of MED-HYCOS programme. Jacques Colombani, Director of Research, in charge of the managing.
Patrick Raous, Research engineer in charge of the Software Unit of the Hydrology Laboratory and of Operationnal Hydrology Unit will participate for a part of his time to the designing of the Regional Data Base. A data processing engineer will work for the implementation of the Regional Data Base in next May.
Pierre Marchand, engineer in electronic, in charge of the technology team of the Operational Hydrology Unit, with the temporary help of Philippe Chazarin, data processing technician, has contributed to the definition of the specifications of the PCD and will contribute to the future implementation of the programme.
Bernard Thébé, Head of Operational Hydrology training unit in the ORSTOM Hydrology Laboratory, will be in charge of training courses organization.
Based on the daily rate of the ORSTOM staff cost (senior : 3 100 F, junior : 2 600 F, technician : 2 000 F), the cost of the RPC staff is as follows.

Evaluation of the ORSTOM staff costs for year 1996
Nom Grade Function Monthly rate Nb months Total FF
Marc Morell IR Hydrologist 68 000 0.5 34 000
Jacques Colombani DR Hydrologist 68 000 8 544 000
Patrick Raous IR Hydrologist 68 000 2 136 000
Pierre Marchand IE Electronician 57 000 2 114 000
X IR data processing 57 000 7 399 000
Philippe Chazarin TR data processing 44 000 2 88 000
Bernard Thébé IE Hydrologist training 57 000 1 57 000
Secretary SAR Secretary 40 000 40 000
Total 1 412 000
IR : Research Engineer IE : Engineer
DR : Research Director
TR : Technician SAR : Administrative Secretary

Recurrent costs
The annual recurrent costs are composed of the cost of the basic functioning and of the cost of travels and missions.
The annual expenses for basic functioning are :
  maintenance of the devices 20 000 FF
  electronic network and software maintenance 60 000 FF
  reports publication and others 10 000 FF

The annual cost of the functioning will be 90 000 FF, no including specific activities.
Montpellier, February 1996.




The main purpose of regional data base implementation is to offer to scientific and water management communities validated and updated data and information about data availability :
  • To offer to the regional and the international community hydrological information; regional mapping with Friend-Amhy program; improvement of hydrological methods.
  • To allow data exchanges with other regional data bases and to develop links with other programmes.
  • To improve the evaluation of hydroclimatological trends in order to improve water management in relation to environmental changes.


The expected products of the regional data base :
  • Validated data time series (hydrological, meteorological, water quality, etc.),
  • Spatial integrated data, with possibilities to interface with GIS and other tools,
  • Statistical estimates and evaluation of trends and fluctuations,
  • Set of updated data for other programmes,
  • Descriptive information on hydrological networks and DCP characteristics,
  • General information (publications, projects, infrastructures and experts).

Structure and data content

The data base will contain :
  • Permanent data :
    • identification of stations (location, equipment, historical information, flow characteristics),
    • characteristics of the catchments (maps, geomorphology, pedology, ecology, climatology, water and soil uses),
    • information on hydrological services, bibliography, existing studies, list of experts.
  • Dynamic data :
    • daily data : rainfall, air (average, maximum and minimum) and water temperature, discharges with elaborated data quality code;
    • monthly maximum and minimum instantaneous discharges (with date and time);
    • monthly maximum rainfall intensities in several time steps (with date and time).
The architecture must allow extention of the data base to water quality and environmental parameters for the future.

Required equipments and estimated costs

a Equipments : workstations (PRC)
PC 486, Pentium with software (Microsoft Office, data base applications + Netscape + FTP) (countries) with CD-Rom drive;
software: Oracle (Unix)(PRC), Netscape+FTP (PRC and countries).
b Cost :
  PRC PC (3 000 $ X 2) : 6 000 $
  Maintenance, assistance to countries 10 000 $
  Oracle : 5 000 $
  Workstation : 18 000 $ 39 000 $
  10 countries PC : 30 000 $
  Software 20 000 $
  Printer+modem 10 000 $ 60 000 $
  99 000 $



With the help of several computer scientist specialists, the beta version of the data base will be set up by the end of 1996.

Prospective for cooperative inter-country activities

The inter-country activities will be improved with regional data base specially for :
  • Cooperation between
    • Hydrometric network managers : guidelines for management, equipments, software for elaborated data.
    • Scientists, water managers (intercomparison of models, forecasting)
  • Research cooperation with Friend/Amhy and other projects.
  • Cooperation developed with other regions (Europa, Africa, ...) and other WHYCOS projects.

Implementation and training program

This item will be developed with the collaboration of WMO and must fit the needs of the different countries. The main fields of possible needs :
  • Data base management;
  • Hardware and software installation;
  • Hardware and software maintenance;
  • From raw data to analysed data.
The PRC will ask the countries and WMO :
Where ? PRC
Sub-regional center
How many times during the programme ?
Who ? Hydrometric engineer
Computer engineer



This programme has been established by the first meeting of the Initial Cooperating Group (ICG)(March 1996) to provide guidance to the Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) for the implementation of the project in collaboration with the different partners, countries and organizations. The structure of the programme follows the immediate objectives as they are described in the project document.
OBJECTIVE 1 : Installation of a network of key stations of multi-sensor equipped DCP s for the collection and transmission of several variables related to water resources monitoring.       
1.1 Procure DCPs WMO has ordered 20 DCPs. Delivery in June 1996. 05.02.1996  
1.2 Send a joint WMO/PRC letter to each of the eligible World Bank member parties requesting that they select two (2) DCP sites. These sites should not be in remote locations but accessible for ease of operation and maintenance, training programs, publicity campaigns and public relations activities. The letter will indicate an estimate for the cost of installing a DCP. It will also include a request for information required to prepare METEOSAT admission forms (to be sent to EUMETSAT by the countries for the allocation of METEOSAT DCP channels and time slots).  By PRC March 1996  
1.3 Consult with these countries to determine how many DCP s each will eventually receive from this first procurement taking into consideration that some eligible WB member countries already have DCP s at hydrologically important locations. The intention is to create a network with at least two (2) DCPs per country within the first procurement.  By PRC March 1996  
1.4 Send a joint WMO/PRC letter to each of the non eligible WB member countries requesting them to designate at least two (2) or more existing stations equipped or which will soon be equipped with DCPs. to be included in the MED-HYCOS network. By PRC March 1996  
1.5 Include in both letters instructions about conforming with international and national telecommunications legislation regarding permission for using the internationally agreed DCP transmission frequencies.      
1.6 Prepare a training programme. Training will be required for the entire process from receiving and installation to operation and maintenance. Ask the countries to select at least three (3) professionals who speak English and/or French to be trained. The intention is that these will train the technicians in their country in their own language. By PRC May 1996  
1.7 Inform countries that in the event of equipment malfunction during the guarantee period the countries will send the equipment to the PRC which will act as an interface between the countries and the manufacturers. Repairs outside the guarantee period may be effected by the countries with PRC assistance. By PRC June 1996  
1.8 Test all equipment before it is shipped to the countries. PRC will test as received   
1.9 Encourage countries to support participation to set up a core operational funding facility which should be able to receive contributions from the project and from other sources. PRC to write a letter to countries May 1996  
OBJECTIVE 2: Development and implementation of the regional data base for water resources at the RPC      
2.1 Prepare a short report justifying the setting up of a regional data base covering using the outline given in Annex 3.  By PRC May 1996  
2.2 Prepare standard procedures and practices for quality control of data, data processing and format, for producing accurate data which are vital and in particular in shared river basins.  By PRC July 1996   
2.3 Cooperate with other regional data bases such as FRIEND-AMHY for sharing the data, and acquiring relevant data which might be needed for National Hydrological Services, and which might be used for enhancing regional hydrological and meteorological and climate models.  By PRC As appropriate  
2.4 Seek support for expertise from the other countries to develop the data base. PRC to announce needs June 1996  
OBJECTIVE 3: Implementation of a regional computer network for the monitoring of the regional water resources.      
3.1 Define the telecommunication systems needed to meet the requirements for data flows (i) to (iv)(para. 6.2.2) together with each eligible World Bank party (by correspondence and through consultant missions); at the same time compile information on the present and possible connection of the MED-HYCOS centres to Internet and the required assistance for such a connection; Jointly by PRC/WMO    
3.2 Ensure the procurement, delivery and installation of the required set of telecommunication equipment; PRC/WMO    
3.3 Take appropriate action with the eligible World Bank parties and other parties concerned (e.g EUMETSAT operating the METEOSAT satellites, GTS centres, etc.) for the required prerequisite telecommunication arrangements (e.g. retransmissions of raw DCP data on the GTS, use of the GTS to exchange data between the centres concerned).  PRC/WMO April 1996  
NOTE: Studies under action 3.1 should permit to define by mid June 1996 the telecommunication systems needed to meet the requirements for the transmission of the raw DCP data from the METEOSAT operator to the MED-HYCOS national centre of the countries in which the DCPs are installed, in real-time. The target date for the implementation of these telecommunications is beginning of 1997. It is expected that the first MED-HYCOS DCPs will be installed before the implementation of this real-time telecommunication systems. The meeting agreed that those centres having access to Internet should retrieve the relevant raw DCP data from the PRC Internet server before the implementation of this real-time telecommunication systems.
OBJECTIVE 4: Improvement of national hydrological services and networks notably through the provision of new equipment and development related training programmes.      
4.1 Make every effort to market the contribution to the respective country sector development programmes.

In particular:

(a) Approach the Ministers of Finance and request that all future lending operations related to water resource management include a standard component for improving, upgrading and maintaining hydrological services (perhaps 5% of loan amount).

(b) Make a particular effort during a natural disaster event to make their case for upgrading their services to mitigate damage from future disasters. 

(c) Make their governments aware of their participation in the MED-HYCOS program, and assist the Minister of Finance to prepare requests for funding from the EU, the EDB, the World Bank and other regional lending agencies for maintaining their countries standards and networks and contribution to regional development initiatives, and in particular for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea. 

(1) National Hydrological Services 

(2) Letters by PRC to members 


April 1996 

4.2 Seek information from the countries on the stations and requirements for rehabilitating the services or upgrading selected stations, preferably in the form of a project brief using the following headings : 
  • Objective, 
  • Expected outputs and products, 
  • Target beneficiaries at national, regional and international levels, 
  • Activities to be carried out 
  • Financial resources required : 
    • Consultants, 
    • Training/workshops, 
    • Equipment, 
    • Consummables and spare parts, 
    • Operating costs; 
  • Foreseen inputs: 
    • National, 
    • Other partners 
Letter by PRC June 1996  
OBJECTIVE 5: Creation of an information infrastructure to facilitate communication and cooperation between the participating countries and other regional development initiatives.       
5.1 Set up a MED-HYCOS information management office which will carry out the following activities : 
  1. compile an official MED-HYCOS Information Infrastructure Directory containing the names of the participants and all interested parties, including those working with regional development initiatives such as the Blue Plan, the European MEDA program, regional researchers, academia, NGOs, the media and the general public. The names should be accompanied by telephone and fax numbers, and Email, World Wide Web and postal addresses. 
  2. distribute this directory either in paper, diskette, Email or World Wide Web. 
  3. disseminate information, queries and requests to and from the participants and others, acting as a dispatcher. 
  4. continually update the directory so that participants can modify their own information distribution lists to suit, and become aware of new partners to MED-HYCOS. 
PRC to arrange July 1996  


Project Profile
Mediterranean Hydrological Cycle Observing System


Consistent with Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992), chapter 18 "Freshwater", and the report of the International Conference on Water and the Environment (ICWE, Dublin 1992), the Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona (November, 1995) identified water management as a vital issue, which deserves special attention in the European MEDA action plan. In the spirit of this pronouncement the countries of the Mediterranean rim have taken the initiative to begin a collaborative program of regional assessment and management of water resources, both quantity and quality. They have been joined by countries of the Black Sea basin, which plays a major role in terms of water exchange with and pollution fluxes to the Mediterranean Sea. This regional collaboration became possible because of the World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) concept developed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the World Bank.
The WHYCOS initiative provides a scientific basis and a framework for cooperation in water resources monitoring, assessment and integrated water resources development and management at community, river basin, national, regional continental and global levels. It will contribute to knowledge of hydrological processes in their interaction with climate and the environment, and will encourage intersectoral sharing of water resources data and information for development and natural capital management. WHYCOS is being implemented through regional operational components and the Mediterranean Hydrological Cycle Observing System (MED-HYCOS) is one of them. Others under preparation include two systems covering the Sub-Saharan Africa region, namely SADC-HYCOS and the West and Central Africa-HYCOS. The EU is considering funding SADC-HYCOS, and the French Government and other donors, have registered their interest in funding the West and Central Africa system.

Rationale and objective

In the Mediterranean basin, scarcity of freshwater, increasing incidents of floods, and deterioration of quality of water are problems which require regionally agreed solutions. In this context, the development objective of MED-HYCOS is to better integrate water resources management decision making into Mediterranean socio-economic development and environment protection activities, including MEDA, through a multi-sectoral and multi-country approach. Representatives of twenty countries of the Mediterranean and Black seas attending a meeting organized jointly by the World Bank and WMO in Montpellier (France), in May 1995, expressed the view that to reach this objective there was a need to, inter alia : (i) modernise hydrometeorological monitoring region-wide and promote exchanges between the agencies responsible for water resources; (ii) achieve a better understanding of regional hydrometeorological phenomena and environmental trends; and (iii) encourage free circulation of quantitative and qualitative standardized and consistent data on water resources as well as environment. This information flow and knowledge transfer initiative will allow the optimal use at county level of the most recent advancement in regional hydrology and is expected to create a development partnership culture between the countries and between all communities within those same countries, and to increase the efficiency and economy of the use of water.

Physical Structure

The operative system will comprise of a network of multi-sensor equipped Data Collection Platforms (DCPs) located at strategic hydrological points in Mediterranean countries. The data will be transmitted in real-time to national and sub-regional centres through the METEOSAT Data Collection System (DCS) and other appropriate existing segments of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of WMO. Water resource managers, river basin authorities, regional and international programmes and more generally all potential users and interested parties will be able to link with the decentralized MED-HYCOS data base and information system. The physical infrastructure being supplied by the MED-HYCOS project will be owned by the respective national water resources agencies, which in turn will be responsible for its operation and maintenance.

Institutional Structure

The institutional structure of MED-HYCOS will be that of a virtual organization or partnership whose operations will be guided by the common objective. Regional sub-centres will be set up, as necessary, to provide technical assistance, training facilities and data base nodes. Operations should be self financing via the national governments. The partnership is voluntary and the hydrological authorities will have sovereignty over all the data and information they generate. Officially designated representatives of the participating countries and funding agencies will form a Regional Cooperating Group (RCG) responsible for defining the strategy, making technical choices and implementing the project. In order to assure efficiency in the early phase of implementation a transitory body, the Initial Cooperating Group (ICG) was established by the May 1995 meeting with representatives of seven countries including three EU members: France, Italy and Spain.


The partners include, the European Union member countries: France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal; non-member countries: Albania, Algeria, Cyprus, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Slovenia, Tunisia and Turkey, and the Palestine authorities.
Black Sea riparian countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine have also requested to be included in MED-HYCOS, and this logical extension to this neighbouring region has been approved in the Montpellier meeting (May 1995).

Results so far

The French Government has provided the project with a Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) with 100m² of office space at the French Research Institute for Development in Co-operation (ORSTOM) Centre, in Montpellier. The PRC is fully equipped with computer systems, office furniture and METEOSAT Data Receiving Station (MDRS). A fibre optic link to a main Internet server is expected to be installed within the next month. The staff, seconded from ORSTOM, are qualified personnel. This contribution to MED-HYCOS is estimated at US$ 1,048,000.
With the assistance of the World Bank and WMO, the country representatives have drawn up a project document and elaborated an implementation program. The World Bank has provided grant funding totalling US$ 1,700,000 divided in three tranches of $ 500,000, $ 700,000 and $ 500,000. To date the first two tranches have been transferred to the project. The release of the third tranche is subject to the commitment of additional funds from other sources.
Pledges from other EU member countries and benefiting governments is estimated at US$ 3,500,000. WMO is contributing the equivalent of US$ 2,381,000 in kind, including administration, expertise and arranging for the free use of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) including METEOSAT DCS.
Based on indications received from the participating countries, WMO has developed standard technical specifications for DCPs and procured twenty of them at a total cost of US$ 500 000 for installation in the non EU countries, which are eligible for World Bank support. The EU member countries will procure their own DCPs and designate parts of their existing water resources monitoring networks to MED-HYCOS. Funds have also been disbursed to cover the expenses of three meetings held in 1994 (concept paper), 1995 (approval of the implementation plan), and 1996 (first ICG meeting).

What remains to be done

During the next few months the following tasks will be undertaken :
  • Site selection for the DCPs;
  • Testing and installing the DCPs;
  • Training for installation, operation and maintenance;
  • Telecommunication training for the use of the Global Telecommunication System (GTS), the Internet and the World Wide Web;
  • The procurement and installation of data receiving equipment;
  • The development of the Regional Data Base with the PRC as central facilitating structure; and
  • The creation of an interactive regional information infrastructure to enable MED-HYCOS to integrate into regional development activities.
To allow each of the interested countries to fully participate in and benefit from this regional cooperation initiative, support to some of the national water resources agencies has to be a part of the project, notably in terms of rehabilitation/upgrading of selected observing stations, data base and data processing systems. This objective requires additional funding which could be targeted to these countries and/or groups of countries to support specific needs which are currently being identified by the countries as part of the activities of the MED-HYCOS programme.

Additional Funding

(a) Short Term
In the short term, the third tranche of the World Bank grant is expected to cover most of the procurement of the major equipment. Additional funding will be required for technical assistance, training, and the procurement of communication equipment and basic sensors for water quality monitoring. This equipment is required to enhance MED-HYCOS data and information collection and circulation, and the creation of an interactive regional information infrastructure for disseminating water related development information. This equipment will include computers with modems capable of receiving the World Wide Web, plus printers and fax machines.
This funding should be targeted specifically at the interested non-EU partners, and is estimated at ECU two million.

(b) Medium to Long Term
In the medium to long term additional DCPs, sensors (especially for water quality) and communication equipment will be required in the non-EU member countries, as well as further training. In addition it is considered desirable to create additional Sub-regional Centres to provide operational support on a sub-regional basis for the sake of convenience and cost-effectiveness, in terms of travel distance and to address specific sub-regional problems, notably where internationally shared-waters are involved, as well as enhancing the capability of the system and the sense of ownership by participating countries.
No real estimate can be made at this stage, however a budget provision should be made at the appropriate time to ensure continuity.

Benefits of the Project

The countries of the Mediterranean region and the region as a whole are facing a number of problems such as: fresh water scarcity, drought, desertification, flash floods, pollution, water sharing, etc. The countries, through their representatives have expressed the opinion, in the May 1995 meeting, in Montpellier, that struggling at the national level only might not be enough to attain the socio-economic objectives and that there is a need to put the national problems in the regional perspective and therefore benefit from the added value provided by a collaborative approach, as proposed by MED-HYCOS. The project will therefore provide the countries and the region with tools to:
  • rationalize the use of water resources in the region. A key factor in development and prevention of water usage conflicts.
  • create a regional partnership for the monitoring of water resources in quantity and quality for the benefit of regional development and improved management of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, and in particular for pollution control.
  • better understand the regional hydrological phenomena and trends which require larger scale observation networks.
  • modernize regions water resources agencies.
  • improve cooperation among the regions national water agencies.
  • sustain research programs which are demand-driven by regional development issues.
  • integrate water resources agencies into the regions development decision making, thereby providing the opportunity for integrated water resource development and management.
  • promote and facilitate the standardization of hydrological measurements and regional compatibility among national hydrological systems.
  • promote and facilitate the real time circulation of water and environment data throughout the region.