Jean Margat was born in Paris in 1924. He was a student in Earth sciences at the Paris La Sorbonne University, and then at the Nancy Engineering School of Geology (Promotion 1947). His first professional experience in hydrogeology was in Morocco from 1947 till 1961 at the Center for Hydrogeological Studies of the Geological Service. He was in charge of the Meknes-Tafilalt Region, first as an engineer then as a deputy head.
He then joined the French Geological Survey (BRGM). He there lead and animated, at the direction of the Hydrogeology Department, created in 1964, studies and research on groundwater in France and many countries, particularly in the arid zone. Later, he specialized in national accounts of water, water economy, foresight, particularly in the Mediterranean basin (Blue Plan), and global syntheses on resources and needs and the issues about water.
Expert for several international organizations (UNDP, UNESCO, FAO, OECD, CEC, World Bank, CEFIGRE, the Sahara and the Sahel Observatory), he dedicated himself also to training and popularization.
We owe him several books and numerous publications dealing with evaluation and management of water resources, mapping, terminology, and water economy, especially in the Mediterranean basin.
He was the Vice President of the Blue Plan for the Mediterranean from 1998 to 2010 and is the vice president of the Mediterranean Institute of water since 2000.
“Honorary Membership” from the IAH in 1999, he received in 2008 the international hydrological prize awarded by UNESCO, the WMO and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.