Launched in October, Hydra is the new software developed and marketed by setec hydratec to model the water cycle. Integrated into an open-source geographic information system (GIS), the software offers proven solutions to the various water management issues encountered by setec teams for many years.

Resource management, flood prevention and protection, crisis forecasting and management… Hydra can be used in many areas

It’s a revolution in the hydraulic sector. For the first time, setec hydratec is offering engineering offices a free or paid version of its own Hydra software, an innovative tool for hydrological and hydraulic modeling in river and urban environments. Used internally up until now, Hydra is the fruit of significant research carried out by hydratec since the start of the 1980s, and has been continually improved with the ambition of becoming France’s leading software in the field.

Seeing the result of 35 years of experience is a real achievement for Thierry Lepelletier, scientific director of hydratec, and his team. An investment of 1 million euro over two years was required to fund the development of the software. Was this a risky move? “Yes, but it’s a project that fully supports the approach taken by setec, which from the start has wanted its engineers to have complete mastery over the chain of tools,” commented Jérôme Palayer, assistant general manager of hydratec. Although Hydra’s features have gradually been improved, “the product needed an upgrade to enable the widest possible distribution externally.” 1 million euro is indeed a substantial investment, but the tool can be used in a particularly wide
range of key areas: resource management, flood prevention and protection, crisis forecasting and management, hydraulic design, real-time management of complex hydraulic systems, water quality, sediment transport… and soon to link surface discharge and ground water.

Hydra hydratec

A tool designed for water engineering companies and authorities

Hydra offers significant benefits for managing major water issues. With its innovative features, the tool is fully immersed in a GIS environment for highly precise cartographic results and the ability to work directly from databases available on GIS, especially IGN data. Simon Olive, hydratec systems engineer, worked with Camille Duran, setec hydratec project manager, to develop Hydra under the leadership of Thierry Lepelletier. For Simon Olive, one of the highlights of this tool is its “powerful internal calculation engine interfaced with highly effective modeling pre-processing.”

According to Camille Duran, another advantage is that “the scalable interfaces greatly facilitate the construction and implementation of models for the user, who can also help enrich the software through the open source system.”

A fast-growing market

The launch of this innovative software package meets needs for new digital work methods. “In the age of Big Data, the walls between different areas of expertise are coming down, and designers and engineers want to work with a single tool,” added Jérôme Palayer. “We are the first and only company to have immersed our calculation engines in an open-source GIS – the same one used by local authorities.” Hydra’s numerous resources have made it a valuable tool on numerous projects.


“Thanks to Hydra, we are moving towards very powerful data processing. We are saving a lot of time in modeling, which means we can work in the best possible conditions with local authorities and water managers.”Thierry Lepelletier Scientific director – setec hydratec









“For two years, we have been upgrading the Hydra interface to make every step easier for users and provide a scalable interface so clients and developers can contribute to the software.” Simon Olive Developer – setec hydratec








“Hydra is a software package based on longstanding experience in modeling. Our ambition is to be at the cutting edge of water cycle management and forecasting in river and urban environments.” Camille Duran Project manager – setec hydratec