Med-Hycos - the Project

The Project



Software Tools


The Mediterranean


Climate and Weather

Mediterranean Sea

Fresh Water


Knowledge base


Database Statistics

Countries Data










report n°11
Montpellier, France February, 1999


  1. Work Plan

2. Activities in 1998

2.1. Pilot Regional Centre
2.1.1. Facilities provided by ORSTOM
2.1.2. ORSTOM’ staff involvement
2.1.3. Missions conducted by the PRC
2.2. Initial Co-ordination Group
2.3. Objective 1: Data Collecting Platforms Network
2.3.1. DCPs shipped and operational
2.4. Objective 2: Hydrological Information System
2.4.1. Data Base Management Tools
2.4.2. Data Internet Interface
2.4.3. Client Tools
2.5. Objective 3 : improvement of National Services
2.5.1. Additional Sensors
2.5.2. HYDATA
2.6. Objective 4 : Creation of an information infrastructure
2.7. Objective 5 : development of an electronic network
3. Statement of Expenses for 1998

4. Conclusion

1. Work Plan

The agreement signed between WMO and IRD (ORSTOM) for the year 1997 was extended with amendment.

This report concerns all activities of the MED-HYCOS program in 1998 which are presented under these headings:

  • Pilot Regional Centre
  • Initial Co-ordination Group
  • Activities by objective :



    Objective 1: Data Collecting Platforms Network
    Objective 2: Hydrological Information System
    Objective 3: Hydrological Support Service
    Objective 4: Information Infrastructure
    Objective 5: Electronic Network

  • Expenses
The countries participating in the project are listed in Annex giving the list of the MED-HYCOS national representatives.

2. Activities in 1998

2.1 Pilot Regional Centre

The agreement between WMO and ORSTOM has been signed in March 1997. It concerned the implementation of the MED-HYCOS activities for the end of the year 1996 and the year 1997. Article 8 of the agreement offered the possibility to extend the agreement until May 1999.

This agreement allowed the PRC to receive funds covering the expenses of 1998 and an advance payment for 1999 from the three tranches of the World Bank’s grant and to set up the activities of the project.

2.1.1 Facilities provided by ORSTOM
In 1998, the PRC run its activities in the Lavalette building, equipped and rented by ORSTOM for the MED-HYCOS project. As agreed at the third meeting of the Initial Co-ordinating Group (ICG) in Malta (5 to 15 November 1997), the PRC building was fully linked to Internet by the end of June and received funding in the programme budget for a workstation server.
Now, the PRC in Montpellier is able to accommodate three or four full time experts from partner countries to manage the WEB site and the regional databases and to develop the library of processing and cartographic tools.
In 1998, the "Conseil Régional Languedoc-Rousillon" provided 50 000 French francs in order to purchase a second server.
2.1.2 ORSTOM’ staff involvement
In 1998, 3 persons worked full time and 2 worked half time for the MED-HYCOS Project:
      - One co-ordinator
      - One administrator
      - One computer Engineer in charge of software development
      - One electronics Engineer in charge of the DCPs network and related training (50%)
      - And one hydrologist technician in charge of data base administration (50%)
2.1.3 Missions conducted by the PRC
In January, a mission of co-ordination with the Regional Hydrological Observatory was assumed by the MED-HYCOS Co-ordinator in OUAGADOUDOU in order to combine the MED-HYCOS Information System with that of the Regional Hydrological Observatory of West and Central Africa managed by ORSTOM.
During the TEMPUS training session in February (BUCAREST), the Co-ordinator met with the Director of the Romanian Hydrometeorological Institute with whom he negotiated an agreement to give data from three Romanian stations to the PRC.
At the invitation of the Mediterranean Water Network, the PCR Co-ordinator presented the MED-HYCOS programme at a conference in VALENCIA , SPAIN on April 16-17.
The 15-16th of June, the Co-ordinator participated in the first WIAG meeting for the co-ordination of WMO WHYCOS programmes
Also in June (18-20), a mission was undertaken for the French Embassy in BEIRUT. The PRC Co-ordinator participated in a seminar on international Water Rights. A meeting there with the Lebanese MED-HYCOS representative officially confirmed the order for 2 MED-HYCOS stations. Additionally, the French Embassy agreed to take 4 MED-HYCOS meteorological stations.
In July, a meeting was organised in MONTPELLIER with André MONACO, professor at the University of PERPIGNAN and Director of the MATER programme (MAss Transfer and Ecosystem Response). The goal was a possible collaboration with the MED-HYCOS programme in setting up an observatory to monitor pollution in Mediterranean coastal regions.
On the 9th of October, the PRC Co-ordinator went to GENEVA on an information gathering mission at WMO headquarters.
A meeting was held In Cyprus (24-25 October) for all the Mediterranean Network Co-ordinators, the initiative of the Mediterranean Water Institute of Marseilles and the Global Water Partnership.
Finally, on 23 November, at the request of Michel GIROD (Water Task Force), the co-ordinator presented the MED-HYCOS programme to the Joint Research Centre of ISPRA in ITALY.
The works undertaken in PCR were devoted to countries' historical data demands and to the development of a CD-ROM which was published in September.
2.2 Initial Co-ordination Group

The Initial Co-ordination Group meeting was held in December 1998 with the Countries' representative organisations as follows:


Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia.
European Commission Joint Institute, French Environment Ministry, Regional Environment Direction, VERSEAU, WMO.
The principal ICG proposals are as follows:
  • Renew the WMO IRD agreement until the end of the year 1999.
  • Increase the number of existing and planned DCPs in the partner countries
  • Continue the Information System Development and make the National Service Data available in MED-HYCOS format to anyone who wants it.
  • Invite trainees from other countries to participate in the PCR Information System development.
  • Seek financing, especially from the EU within the framework of research programmes proposed in the 5th PRCD
The report of this meeting (report n° 10) has been distributed to all the project partners and is available on the MED-HYCOS Web site.

2.3 Objective 1: Data Collecting Platforms Network

2.3.1 DCPs shipped and operational
The first lot the 20 DCPs was delivered to the PRC in August 1996. Eighteen DCPs have already been shipped to the countries and 2 are still available at the PRC. Out of these 18 DCPs received by the countries, 10 are currently in operation.

A second lot of five DCPs has been delivered to the PRC in October 1998. A further lot of thirteen DCPs has been ordered in July 1998 and is to be delivered in January 1999.

The following table presents the shipped and operational DCPs;

Four new DCPs were put into service in 1998:

    1 in Slovenia

    2 in Bulgaria

    1 in Malta

Of note, one of the two platforms in Turkey (Misis) which was destroyed by lightning, was replaced by a new platform sent by the PRC.

Five platforms, ordered by the OMM were sent to the following countries:

2 in Albania

1 in Jordan

2 in Morocco

Bulgaria, France, Romania and Slovenia are also providing to the Regional Data Base near real time data from about other fifteen hydrological stations. Some six Italian stations are to be equipped soon with EUMETSAT DCP for near real time satellite transmission. Spain will provide the PRC with near real time daily discharges from about five stations.

Concerning the collect of Data from DCPs, it is now possible for each participating country to access directly its data through Internet on the EUMETSAT Internet Site and this is the most cost-effective way to do so.

All the country partners participated in these training courses except Syria and Palestinian Water Authority.

The National Hydrological Services of the participating countries and territories are committed to ensure that the stations forming part of the MED-HYCOS network are installed, operated (including gauging) and maintained to the required standard. The operation and maintenance costs should normally be borne by the countries, although the project may provide support within the available funds (spare parts, support missions).

During the ICG meeting in December the Co-ordinator indicated the following as immediate objectives :

  • A network of 25 to 30 MED-HYCOS DCPs in operation by May 1999 (not including the six DCPs from the Italian network which should be transmitting in the coming months).
  • Other 25 to 30 stations from national networks providing near real time data to the Regional Data Base, by May 1999.
The ICG confirmed the decisions taken in Malta (November 1997) for the allocation of 8 DCPs (2 from the first lot and the 5 from the second lot) as follows : Algeria: 2

Palestinian Territories: 2

Lebanon: 2

Cyprus: 1

Slovenia: 1

The ICG also agreed with the proposal of the PRC for the allocation of the DCPs from the third lot, which should be ready for shipment in January 1999. These DCPs shall be distributed as follows: Bulgaria: 2

Cyprus: 1

Croatia: 1

Slovenia: 1

Tunisia: 2

Turkey: 2

In order to reduce the time necessary for the delivery of the DCPs to the recipient countries and according the ICG recommendations, these DCPs shall now be shipped directly by the manufacturer to the recipient countries.

The ICG recommended in December that :

  1. one DCP shall be kept operational at the PRC to help solving any technical problems which can be faced in the countries;
  2. two DCPs shall be kept as spare parts at the PRC (one of these DCPs might be sent to Greece in case of an agreement with the World Bank and
  3. one DCP shall be assigned to the first of the two countries (Bosnia Herzegovina and Syria) which will sign the project document.
In December the Co-ordinator invited each beneficiary country to send a letter of intention to the PRC. This letter shall : (i) indicate the willingness of the country to install the DCP (s) within 2 months after receiving it; (ii) provide the EUMETSAT Information Form duly completed and signed; and (iii) provide brief information about the expected use of the data to be acquired by the platform(s) and indicate any foreseeable problem which might delay the installation (including financial ones).

The ICG stressed the interest for the MED-HYCOS project to develop its activities in the field of water quality.

The ICG recommended that two sets of additional sensors shall be provided to Cyprus, Malta and Tunisia according to their specific needs and invited these countries to urgently provide the PRC with technical information for the preparation of quotation.

In December, the PRC Co-ordinator sent a letter to all the participating countries inviting them to indicate their needs in terms of additional sensors, especially for water quality.

2.4 Objective 2: Hydrological Information System

PRC carried out the development of the system interfacing the Regional Data Base administrated under the ORACLE Data Base Management System (DBMS) with Internet.

Three types of data are currently available in the MED-HYCOS Information System:

  • Real time data from the MED-HYCOS DCPs (raw data and validated data).
  • Near real time data from other stations, volunteered by the countries.
  • Historical data from 4 to 5 stations in each country, including preferably those of the stations were the DCPs have been installed.
The most important activity relative to Objective 2 was the completion of the CD-ROM containing historical hydrological data. 1000 discs were made and copies were distributed in September 1998 to countries participating in the programme and to all our partners.

A considerable effort was made in collect this historical data which is accessible on our CD-ROM and also available on our WEB site.

In all, the CD-ROM contains daily data from over 50 hydrometric stations located throughout 13 countries which have agreed to supply the PRC with data:

Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.
Agreements have been or are in the course of being made with these countries. These accords are based on the protection of the proprietary rights of information. This protection authorised by the February 26 1996 European Directive on databases became effective in France at the beginning of July, where it was made law.

Other countries, principally Algeria, Bosnia, Lebanon, Malta, Moldavia, Palestinian Territories, Portugal, and Ukraine will be asked again to supply historical water flow data from some of the stations in their networks.

Data from the DCPs are updated weekly. In 1999, height/flow transformation procedures will be implemented which will allow the collection of real time data on flow rates in rivers equipped with DCPs.

In 1999, meetings or missions will be organised to adapt hydrological Information System processing tools to national databases.

Besides, the participation of IRD-ORSTOM in the European project "ESIMEAU" (Information Technologies for Water Resources management an Modelling in Semi-Arid Areas) co-ordinated by INRIA (French National Institute of Applied Research in Computer Science) and connecting engineering and research Institutes and Universities from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Greece and the Netherlands should reinforce the development of the MED-HYCOS information system.

In 1999, around 20 trainers months charged by ESIMEAU will be invested in the Information System Development. Around 10 trainers months will be charged by MED-HYCOS Project.

According the ICG recommendations, the development of the MHIS shall be oriented in 1999 along three main courses of action :

Data Base Management Tools;

Internet Interface; and

Client Tools.

The ICG agreed on the following tasks and responsibilities :
2.4.1 Data Base Management Tools
  1. Develop software for importing DCP data from EUMETSAT Web site in RDB ; this task shall be undertaken by the PRC with the support of Bulgaria which will second an expert to the PRC.
  2. Increase the number of Near Real Time (NRT) data in the RDB. All the participating countries are invited to provide these additional data on a continuous basis.
  3. Send to RDB validated data (DCP and other NRT stations). The countries supplying data to the RDB shall provide the validated data on a yearly basis.
  4. Develop a standard format for the exchange of large amount of historical / validated data. The PRC shall develop such a format in co-operation with experts from Italy.
  5. The PRC to develop tools for converting DC data on water level into discharge. The countries shall provide the relevant rating curves to the PRC.
  6. The PRC to develop modules for metadata file management. The countries will provide the necessary information.
2.4.2 Data Internet Interface
  1. Modify the MED-HYCOS Web site structure along the guidelines as approved by the ICG, notably by introducing semilog representation for low flow data and improve the readability of information displayed (station name, unit of measure, etc.). A detailed description of the proposed new structure is attached as Appendix 4. The ICG recalled that the purpose of the Web site was mainly for information and raising the interest of large number of users for the project.
  2. Develop simple cartographic tools to ease navigation and access to stations descriptions and data. This task will be undertaken by the PRC with support of seconded experts from the countries.
2.4.3 Client Tools
  1. Develop tools for exporting data from RDB into standard formats, for inter station correlation and other simple statistical analysis. The PRC will develop these tools with the support of the experts seconded by the participating countries. The participating countries shall inform the PRC by January 1999 of their immediate requirements in terms of formats and tools.
2.5 Objective 3 : improvement of National Services

Countries' needs were estimated at the end of 1997. During the beginning of 1999, the countries will be equipped with " MED-HYCOS configured" computers and appropriate software.

The decision was taken to offer meteorological or water quality sensors to the national hydrology departments of countries that wanted them, to the extent that budgets allowed.

The ICG met in December considered the most urgent actions to be undertaken for the implementation of this objective and made the following recommendations:

2.5.1 Additional Sensors
Concerning the procurement of additional hydrological measurement equipment, the PRC invited eligible countries to submit proposals. These proposals shall be supported by a description of the activities for which these devices are needed. A request from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, Tunisia, Turkey, are already available. Equipment will be provided in the limits of the available funds and priority will be given to those activities of highest regional interest.
2.5.2 HYDATA
The PRC shall ascertain the interest of participating countries in equipping national services with the IH developed HYDATA software, Window version. Following this survey WMO will enter into negotiation with the UK Agency for International Development to get their funding for the procurement of the required number of licences.
2.6 Objective 4 : Creation of an information infrastructure

The development of the information infrastructure has been carried out along four courses of action:

  • Development of the Web site (including linkage with the Regional Data Base) ;
  • Production of CD-ROM bundles ;
  • Establishment of contacts and co-operation with other projects in the Mediterranean region ;
  • Publication and distribution of the MED-HYCOS brochure.
Updating the web site played a role in the organisation of the MED-HYCOS information infrastructure. On the site, apart from data and tools related to the Regional Data Base (Objective 2), institutional and technical information on the project and its activities are available.

In September 1998, the production and dispatch of CD ROM displayed the first products of the project for users not yet connected to the Web or with low speed connection. The CD-ROM will be regularly updated and sent to the countries between two and four times per year according to the progress of the Project.

Contacts were established in 1998 with the Blue Plan, the Mediterranean Water network, the European Joint Research Centre in ISPRA (Italy), the European Task Force Water and co-ordinators of European Programmes (HYDROMED, MAST, etc.). These contacts can result in collaboration projects between MED-HYCOS and other programmes as well as between MED-HYCOS partners and research teams and Directions of Water in the Mediterranean basin. MED-HYCOS, through RID is also involved in the implementation of the EC funded programme ESIMEAU, on the application of the information technology in modelling water resources management in semi-arid areas.

The MED-HYCOS brochure (French/English) was distributed in September 1998 to national MED-HYCOS focal points, research institutes, international organisations, etc. in 4000 copies. This brochure is included in the CD-ROM package.

The immediate following objectives are set for the project :

  • To develop information products such as processed data, training aids, technical papers, thematic hydrological analysis, software, reports.
  • To improve the quality and quantity of the information and data available on the MED-HYCOS Web site, the ease of their use and hence the visibility and recognition of the project.
  • To start the implementation of the demonstration projects.
  • To strengthen operational collaboration links with other networks and institutions active in the field of hydrology and water resources in the Mediterranean Basin area.
In December, the ICG made the following recommendations :
  1. to improve the MED-HYCOS Web site making it more attractive, and to disseminate an updated version of the CD-ROM at least twice a year ;
  2. to establish a discussion forum for the MED-HYCOS partners on the Internet. The role of moderator of this forum should be held by the MED-HYCOS focal points on a rolling basis (6 months period).
2.7 Objective 5 : development of an electronic network

The WMO financed , from the World Bank budget, a 2MB Internet link for the Agropolis Campus PRC. In addition, the WMO financed the acquisition of a new server that will host the database and the WEB site software.

These actions will allow us to better accommodate experts from our partner countries in the development of the MED-HYCOS hydrological information system.

Concerning the collection of data acquired by DCPs and transmitted via the METEOSAT satellite, EUMETSAT has set up a WEB site on which these data will be available. Thus data can be accessed by the countries' national departments which have the logon co-ordinates and the programme password. This information was given to countries that have one or more DCPs. So the use of one station for direct reception, even GTS, is therefore no longer necessary.

Concerning the Internet access for participating countries, the last ICG made the following recommendations :

  1. Having noted that it is now possible to retrieve DCP's data from the EUMETSAT Internet site use the funds previously earmarked for the establishment of GTS connections for equipping with Internet access and e-mail those NHS not yet provided with such facility.
  2. In this connection the PRC in conjunction with WMO shall carry out a survey of the present status of Internet and e-mail access into the participating countries and shall provide the necessary equipment.
3. Statement of Expenses for 1998

The following table presents the expenses in USD incurred in 1998 by the PRC.

    1998 MED-HYCOS project expenses in USD
    PRC running costs
    $ 18 000
    $ 16 392,57
    RTF 1
    $ 1 215,79
    RTF 2
    $ 0,00
    RTF 3
    $ 0,00
    RTF 4
    $ 7 972,81
    $ 36 208,75
For its operation, the PRC received funds from the World Bank (18 000 USD), IDR credits (about 30000 USD), the Environment Ministry(18 000 USD), an external aid from Languedoc-Roussillon Region (9 000 USD) and the Departmental Council of Herault (18 000 USD) to be paid in 1999.

In order to balance the expenses, a transfer of 121299,67 F was made from RTF3 to ICG. However, in 1998, an account of about 200 000 FF were put into the activities of MED-HYCOS PRC by IRD-ORSTOM.

The recapitulative statement of expenses certified by the Administrator of the ORSTOM Centre in Montpellier is given in annex.

4. Conclusion

During the course of 1998, the MED-HYCOS programme continued to make progress. It didn't seem necessary to call organisational meetings among the programme partners before the production of the first MED-HYCOS CD-ROM.

A significant effort was made on the part of the PRC team to rapidly accomplish the CD-ROM objective:

  • in integrating the totality of WEB site information on the CD-ROM,
  • in developing the first inventory and data visualisation tools, both efficient and easy to use,
  • in the endeavour to incorporate onto the CD-ROM historic data from 13 countries, and 50 hydrometric stations
The distribution of this CD-ROM has ensured the promotion of the programme not only in the international community, sponsors, etc, but also within the countries which are partners in the MED-HYCOS programme. Indeed, developing and supplying processing tools which will allow countries to exploit their own national data should be considered one of the main benefits of the project.

The promotion of MED-HYCOS Project was assumed through contacts with Blue Plan, Mediterranean Water Institute, Mediterranean Water Network, Global Water Partnership, Joint Research Centre of ISPRA, European Water Task Force, etc.

In 1999 which will be the last year of the initial phase, further efforts will be necessary :

  • to significantly increase the number of DCPs installed in partner countries
  • to improve the Information system by increasing the volume of the regional data base develop and developing tools
  • to earmark sources of financing to ensure the continuation of this programme beyond the year 2000 especially in relation with the European Community

Montpellier, 10 February, 1999
Marc Morell
MED-HYCOS PRC Co-ordinator