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Climate change has considerable impacts on global water resources. More and more geographical areas are now affected by periods of water scarcity. A challenge for TotalEnergies, committed to optimizing the management of freshwater resources on its sites, from the PERL.

"I currently work in OneTech R&D Upstream as R&D Leader, Water Resource Management, for the CO₂ & Sustainability R&D Program. What I really love about my job is working on the water issue to try and find innovative solutions to the current and future challenges raised by using this resource, in particular for TotalEnergies’ multi-energy activities. Reducing GHG emissions is a real challenge for humanity today, but in my opinion, the sustainable management of water resources is just as important"

Sébastien Dehez,
Hydrogeologist – R&D Leader Water Resource Management


A SWAP pilot in Lacq (2022-2025)

The SWAP (Sustainable WAter Platform), developed by the Environment and Sustainable Development service at the Platform for Experimental Research in Lacq and the R&D division at TotalEnergies is an innovative dynamic simulator that serves to test different constraint scenarios for water management and treatment. It is used to experiment with the combination of different water treatment and recycling techniques, with several different input and output water qualities, and a wide range of energy sources (PV solar, wind, thermal solar, hybridization). The aim is to valorize all the available water resources on TotalEnergies’ sites, with the smallest possible carbon and environmental footprints. Installed at Lacq in September 2022 on the Lacq Pilot Platform, the SWAP pilot recovers direct rainwater and treated industrial wastewater from the SOBEGI plant, to be valorized and reused. In its current configuration, the facility comprises four main modules:

  • An upstream raw water collection and storage module to ensure the water supply for the pilot.
  • An energy module with hybrid solar panels (PVT) and the energy management system (EMS), equipped with a battery.
  • A water treatment module including an ultrafiltration (UF) unit, a reverse osmosis (RO) unit, an ion-exchange resin (IEX) unit, and a chemical cleaning unit.
  • A module to store treated water.

The SWAP platform is a virtuous system, totally autonomous in electricity, and does not generate any direct CO₂. It is connected to the electricity grid of the Lacq plant (SOBEGI), and reinjects the surplus electricity generated by the solar panels.

Aerial view of the SWAP platform.


View of the SWAP platform water treatment and EMS modules.


Challenges for TotalEnergies

  • Have an autonomous, compact, efficient and readily deployable demonstrator to test different water valorization scenarios and propose an economic solution with the lowest possible carbon footprint.
  • Capitalize on the platform to test different energy components - hybrid photovoltaic solar panels, batteries - and energy storage and conversion solutions.
  • Examine the possible synergies between energy production and water treatment, thanks to the use of hybrid solar panels (PV + thermal).
  • Evaluate and optimize the usage rate of a production facility as regards the intermittence of resources (water, solar resources).
  • Evaluate the water and carbon footprint of our scenarios through Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) studies.
  • Manage to valorize available water resources on the different sites and within in a local perimeter, which are still underused today: direct rainfall, rainwater, recycling treated wastewater, etc.


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