Med-Hycos - the Project

The Project



Software Tools


The Mediterranean


Climate and Weather

Mediterranean Sea

Fresh Water


Knowledge base


Database Statistics

Countries Data











January 1999 - July 1999
report n°12
Montpellier, July 1999


1. Introduction

2. PRC activities

2.1. IRD (ORSTOM) staff involvement
2.2. Partner involvement
2.3. Statement of Expenses for 1998
2.4. Missions conducted by the PRC
3. Objective 1 : Data Collecting Platforms Network 3.1. DCPs shipped, operational and planned
3.2. Results and future
4. Objective 2: Hydrological Information System 4.1. Data Base Management Tools
4.2. Web Interface
4.3. Client Tools
4.4. Results and future
5. Objective 3 : Improvement of National Services 5.1. Training
5.2. Computer, peripheral devices and software
5.3. Additional Sensors
6. Objective 4 : Creation of an information infrastructure

7. Conclusion

1. Introduction

This report concerns the main activities of the MED-HYCOS project during the first seven months of 1999.

As proposed by the ICG meeting in December 1998, the main activities of MED-HYCOS Project were focused on :

  • The increasing of the number of DCPs in the partner countries
  • The continuation of the Information System Development with the help of experts-trainees from partner countries in order to participate in the Information System development at the PRC.
  • Funds seeking , especially from the EU within the framework of research programmes proposed in the 5th PRCD
2. PRC activities

The agreement signed between WMO and IRD (ORSTOM) was extended with amendment until December 1999. That allows the continuation of the project's activities.

2.1 IRD (ORSTOM) staff involvement

In 1999, two persons from IRD worked full time in the Pilot Regional Centre and three others worked part time for the MED-HYCOS Project :

  • one co-ordinator (100 %)
  • one administrator (100 %)
  • one computer engineer in charge of software development (20 %)
  • one electronics engineer in charge of the DCP network and related training (50%)
  • and one hydrologist technician in charge of data base administration (50%).
2.2 Partner involvement

As presented below, five experts worked or are working in the PRC on the Web site and on the Information System (regional database and tools) :

  • Minka Stoyanova from Bulgaria, from the 15th of January to the 15th of March, 1999.
  • Eram Artinian from Bulgaria from the 1st of February to the 15th of December
  • Vladan Kojanic from Yugoslavia from the 1st of March to the 15th of December
  • Dejan Lekic from Yugoslavia from the 1st of February to the 15th of December
  • Ildiko Pelczer from Romania from the 1st of July to the 18th of December.
Two other experts work to supply the web site with data and water related information. They also contribute to promote the project according to the proposals of the Initial Co-ordinating Group :
  • Liliana Fugaçiu from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Romania working on the retrieval of hydrometeorological data in the Mediterranean area from the 3rd of May to the 27th of June,
  • Agim Selenica from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Albania, working on the retrieval of hydrometeorological information from the 28th of July to the 18th of December.
In 1999 the involvement of the partner countries in PRC activities can be estimated in 44.5 man/months.

2.3 Statement of Expenses for 1998

During the first six months of 1999, IRD provided 40 000 French francs and the French Ministry of Environment provided 35 000 French francs in order to support the activities of PRC. The "Conseil Régional Languedoc-Rousillon" provided 50 000 French francs to purchase a second server.

The following table presents the expenses in USD incurred in 1999 by the project and ordered by PRC.

Approximate expenses in US $ during the period January-July 1999

US $
+ DCPs by WMO
*48 000
11 500
+ Computers by WMO
**45 000
105 700
  • * including experts expenses until December (E Artinian, D. Lekic, I. Pelczer)
  • ** including experts expenses until December (V. Kojanic, A. Selenica)
2.4 Missions conducted by the PRC

Various missions were carried out by the Co-ordinator of PRC :

  • 14-18 February : Visit to the Hydrometeorological Institute of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Sarajevo - Mostar)
  • 22-24 March : Congress on Databases in Koblenz (Germany)
  • 25-26 March : Meeting in ISPRA (Joint Research Centre of the European Community) with the representatives of the Institute of Environment and of WMO
  • 1 - 3 June : Second Whycos Initial Advertising Group Meeting in Geneva (WMO)
  • 4 - 5 June : Congress on Droughts in Taormina (Italy) invited by Mrs Giuseppina Monacelli
  • 20 July : Meeting in the French Foreign Ministry (Paris) for presenting MED-HYCOS Project
  • 23 July meeting with representative of "Conseil Régional Languedoc Roussillon".
3. Objective 1 : Data Collecting Platforms Network

3.1 DCPs shipped, operational and planned

The first lot 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 was delivered to the PRC in October 1998. A further lot of thirteen DCPs ordered in July 1998 was delivered in April 1999.

Because of the long delays to obtain the Eumetsat admission forms from the countries and the numbers from Eumetsat Centre (see annex) only 13 CDP are operational.

Only 6 platforms were sent to the following countries : Lebanon : 2 in January ; Cyprus : 1 in January and 1 in June ; Croatia : 1 in June ; Turkey : 1 in June.

The following table presents the shipped, operational and planned DCP and the sensor sets to be sent to the countries.

Shipped Operational and planned DCP - Sensor sets planned

      DCP Shipped
      DCP Operational
      DCP Planned
      Meteo sets
      Quality sets
      * one more DCP destroyed by lightning
2 meteorological sensors sets and 3 quality sensor sets are available.

3.2 Results and future

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

Concerning the collection of data from DCPs, it is noted that each participating country can directly access its data through the Internet on the EUMETSAT Internet Site.

It is also noted that the target of "25 to 30 MED-HYCOS DCPs operational by May 1999" defined in last December was not reached.

The National Hydrological Services having non operational DCPs are committed to ensuring that these platforms will be installed as soon as possible, operated (including gauging) and maintained to the required standard. The operation and maintenance costs should be normally covered by the countries, although the project may provide support within the available funds (spare parts, support missions).

4. Objective 2: Hydrological Information System

According to the agreement of the fourth meeting of the Initial Co-ordinating Group (ICG) in Montpellier (December 1998), the PRC accommodates several full time experts from partner countries to review and to manage the WEB Site and to develop various cartographic and data management and processing tools :

  • Minka Stoyanova from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Bulgaria, who worked on the Web Site from the 15th of January to the 15th of March, 1999.
  • Vladan Kojanic from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Yugoslavia, Web Master of the Web Site, from the 1st of March to the 15th of December
  • Dejan Lekic from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Yugoslavia, implementing cartographic tools, from the 1st of February to the 15th of December
  • Eram Artinian from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Bulgaria, implementing management and processing tools, from the 1st of February to the 15th of December
  • Ildiko Pelczer from the National Hydrometeorological Institute of Romania, working on the implementation of processing tools from the 1st of July to the 18th of December.
We have to note a very important involvement of the Hydrometeorological Institutes of Bulgaria, Romania and especially of Yugoslavia with two experts, even though it is not an eligible country in the project.

According to the ICG recommendations, the development of the MHIS has been oriented towards three main actions  :

  • Data Base Management Tools;
  • Internet Interface; and
  • Client Tools.
4.1 Data Base Management Tools

A very powerful tool has been developed by Eram Artinian:

  • for importing DCP data from the EUMETSAT Web site in RDB
  • for managing the Oracle database on the server (Workstation) through an intermediary ACCESS Database (PC)
  • for data inventory, processing and data exchange between the ACCESS database and the ORACLE Database
This tool is named MDM (MED-HYCOS Data Manager).

4.2 Web Interface

The MED-HYCOS Web site structure has been modified following the guidelines approved by the ICG last December, especially to increase the interest of a larger number of MED-HYCOS project users.

A very high performance tool has been developed to access data through a cartographic interface, which preserves the vector structure of the information (countries, basins, rivers, stations). This tool allows the access of station locations, descriptions and data.

4.3 Client Tools

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 the stations where the DCPs have been installed.
The software MDM developed by Eram Artinian is working only as a standalone module.

The first part of the "Data Retriever" software concerns the retrieval of real time data from the Web site. It was implemented to be used by the PRC as well as by the countries. Graphic visualisation permits users to easily find some errors not yet discovered at the previous steps of data acquisition.

The second part of the software "Data Manager" - has several important functions:

  • To maintain the structure of both Oracle and ACCESS MED-HYCOS databases (operational only for the PRC)
  • To transfer the information from DCPs to the variable oriented ACCESS.
  • To edit, update, add and delete particular records in the ACCESS database using a developed graphic interface.
  • To import any data received in ASCII format, such as "near real time" data series.
  • To visualise data series from both databases in graphic and tabular format. This also gives the user the possibility to simultaneously compare two or more data series, to make scatter representations of two series, to calculate and to visualise averaged (daily, monthly, yearly) or cumulated values of data series.
In the same way, a standalone version of the Cartographic application is available : MedMap. This very powerful software programme can access data from the Regional database (Oracle on server), the local ACCESS database, or from local files (for example on a CD-ROM).

4.4 Results and future

All the developed tools will be available free of charge, on the MED-HYCOS CD-ROM version 2.0, 2000 copies of which will be disseminated in October 1999 (1000 in a new digipack, 1000 to update the CD-ROM V 1.0 already sent).

Before that, a beta version of the new CD-ROM will be sent to all the countries in August 1999 asking them to update historical data and information (National services descriptions, information on the use of MED-HYCOS data, pictures of DCPs, etc.).

The PRC received a request from the Co-ordinator of ARIDE European Project (Assessment of the Regional Impact of Droughts in Europe) for permission to use the MED-HYCOS data according to a specific agreement. Until now, the following countries have accepted this proposal : Albania, Cyprus, France, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, and Yugoslavia.

Since the MDM software has been operational in the PRC, the data from the DCPs are updated weekly.

During the next months, procedures for transforming the water levels in discharges through rating curves will be implemented which allow the collection of real time data on flow rates in rivers equipped with DCPs.

MEDMAP and MDM tools will be adapted for processing national databases. First examples will be set up in Cyprus and in Yugoslavia.

As defined at the beginning of 1999, one of the main priorities will be the increasing of Near Real Time (NRT) data collection in the RDB. All the participating countries will be invited again to provide these additional data on a continuing basis.

5. Objective 3 : Improvement of National Services

5.1 Training

A training course "Digital Elevation Model" was organised from 14 to 19 June in Beirut by CREEN (Regional Water and Environment Centre - Lebanon), MED-HYCOS and IRD.

Participants from Bulgaria, Greece, Lebanon, Syria and Yugoslavia attended this training course given by a hydrologist researcher from IRD.

5.2 Computer, peripheral devices and software

A complete computer equipment set was sent to most of the eligible countries.

This equipment is composed of :

  • a computer (400 MHz, 4 GB hard disc, 64 MB RAM) with a 17 inch screen
  • a printer, a scanner, a modem, and a Iomega Zip writer/reader
  • software assortment: Pack Office, Map Info, Corel Draw
Some complete equipment sets available at the PRC will be sent to the countries which are not fully involved in the project as soon as they are active.

5.3 Additional Sensors

See page 4.

6. Objective 4 : Creation of an information infrastructure

The immediate following objectives were defined by the last ICG meeting:

  • To develop information products such as processed data, training aids, technical papers, thematic hydrological analysis and software, reports.
  • To improve the quality and quantity of the information and data available on the MED-HYCOS Web site as well as the ease of their use .This will enhance the 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.
The development of the information infrastructure has been carried out according to the following actions :
  • Development of the Web site (including linkage with the Regional Data Base) ;
  • Publication and distribution of the MED-HYCOS brochure.
  • Production of a provisional CD-ROM ;
  • Establishment of contacts and co-operation with other projects in the Mediterranean region ;
Updating the web site played a role in the organisation of the MED-HYCOS information infrastructure. On the web site, new institutional and technical information is available under the "Documents" item:
  • Data on water cycles, freshwater resources, pollution, etc.
  • Large floods in the Mediterranean
  • Rainfall normal curves in the Mediterranean area (from GPCC)°
  • Hydrometry Quality Charts : A Guide to Good Practices (a document from the French Ministry of Environment )
  • Hydrometeorological Data Acquisition, Transmission and Dissemination through the MED-HYCOS Project (Lauzanne, September 1999), etc.
A new MED-HYCOS brochure (French/English) was published (3000 copies) in June 1999. It will be disseminated to national MED-HYCOS focal points, research institutes, international organisations, etc. This brochure will be included in the new CD-ROM package.

Contacts were established in 1999 with Blue Plan (Sarajevo), European Joint Research Centre in ISPRA (Italy), ESIMEAU project, Regional Centre of Water and Environment (Lebanon), SADC HYCOS (WIAC meeting in Geneva), etc.

An effort will be made to establish a discussion forum for the MED-HYCOS partners on the Internet. The last ICG meeting recommends that the role of moderator of this forum should be held by the MED-HYCOS focal points on a rolling basis (6 months period).

7. Conclusion

During the first seven months of 1999, the MED-HYCOS project made strong progress.

A significant effort was made by the PRC team to develop the information system structure. This includes very efficient tools for the PRC to manage the regional database, and for the national hydrological services which will be able to process their own data and give access to the international community to data and information related to the project.

The promotion of MED-HYCOS Project was carried out through contacts with Blue Plan, Mediterranean Water Institute, Mediterranean Water Network, Global Water Partnership, Joint Research Centre of ISPRA, French Foreign Ministry, Languedoc-Roussillon Region representative, etc.

By means of the Web Site and of a new CD-ROM to be distributed in November, MED-HYCOS Project continues to offer to the international community concrete results and to ensure the promotion of the programme.

Unfortunately only 13 DCPs are currently operational. It is a disappointing result for MED-HYCOS project. All the representatives of the countries must understand that the main priority for MED-HYCOS project is to significantly increase the number of installed DCPs in the Mediterranean.

At the end of this year, which is the last year of the initial phase, the number of Operational DCPs installed by the partner countries, will be considered by donors and WMO as one of the main indicators of the MED-HYCOS Project's success.