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Pilot Rivers, a unique site

This outdoor laboratory, unparalleled in the oil and gas industry, comprises 16 artificial watercourses deviated from the Gave de Pau (river), and is used to study the impacts of industrial discharge on freshwater, assess them using biological indicators and assess the risks related to specific substances.

Network of the 16 pilot rivers of the PERL

The facility is used in particular to develop a competency hub in ecotoxicology as part of the I-site partnership chair between TotalEnergies, the University of Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA) and Rio Tinto, created in 2019 to evaluate the impact of chemical pollution in freshwater.

The main research themes are the evaluation of new environmental monitoring tools in freshwater, the qualification and validation of genetics-based tools (environmental DNA, metabarcoding, barcoding, sequencing, etc.), climate change and its impact on watercourses.