Med-Hycos - the Project

The Project



Software Tools


The Mediterranean


Climate and Weather

Mediterranean Sea

Fresh Water


Knowledge base


Database Statistics

Countries Data








1. WHYCOS: a Tool
for Water Resources Assessment and Management

Almost all the fresh water resources which can be mobilized are from atmospheric precipitation (rain, snow), surface water (rivers, lakes, reservoirs) and ground water. 

The sustainable and efficient management of the water resources requires a thorough understanding of their availability and variability both in space and time. This knowledge is based on hydrological information systems, which allow easy access to reliable and consistent hydrological data on rainfall,  river flow, water quality, etc. 

The World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) - launched in 1993 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is aimed at improving the knowledge of the water resources for sustainable development by strengthening the technical and institutional capacities of Hydrological Services. 

Whycos established a global network of national observatories which provide information of consistent quality, transmitted in real or near real time to national and regional databases, and promoting the use of modern technologies in hydrology. 

WHYCOS facilitates the dissemination and use of water related information, notably on the World Wide Web of Internet. 

2. MED-HYCOS: the First Regional Component of the WHYCOS Programme to Be Put in Operation

The countries in the Mediterranean Basin experience varying conditions regarding availability of water resources and needs, highly increased by irrigation, development of tourism and improvement in living standards. 

At the dawn of the 21st century, it is estimated that about ten Eastern and Southern Mediterranean countries will be below the scarcity level, generally estimated at 1000 cubic meters available per year and per inhabitant, all requirements considered. 

In the Mediterranean Basin, MED-HYCOS contributes to water resources assessment and management by helping the National Hydrological Services to strengthen their capacities and by promoting the exchange of information and skills among the countries participating in the Project 

WMO is the executing agency for the Project; the World Bank is funding the first phase; the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD ex ORSTOM) is hosting in Montpellier, France, the MED-HYCOS Pilot Regional Centre (PRC) which is in charge of co-ordinating and leading the Project with the support of regional task forces completed by the experts from participating countries. 

3. MED-WHYCOS:a Water Observing and Information System

The MED-WHYCOS Project is structured on the following activities:

  • Implementation of a network of Data Collecting Platforms (DCPs) sited on the main rivers of the participating countries and transmitting data via the European meteorological satellite METEOSAT;
  • Development and implementation of a regional database connected to the World Wide Web of the Internet;
  • Organization of relevant training activities. MED-HYCOS aims at providing decision-maker, scientist and general public with valuable information of water resources changes at both national and regional levels.

Thus, by promoting the use of modern technologies for data acquisition, transmission and information processing and dissemination, the MED-HYCOS Project helps the countries of the region to better cope with the difficulties they are facing in terms of water excess or scarcity, water pollution and environmental degradation. 

A more detailed presentation