Seawater Desalination and the Political Ecology of Water
Edited by Joe Williams and Erik Swyngedouw
Chapter 8: Financialising desalination in London: the Thames Water Desalination Plant (TWDP)
Alex Loftus and Hug March
In this chapter we explore the encounter between finance and desalination using the case of Britain's first experiment in desalination technologies, the Thames Water Desalination Plant (TWDP), inaugurated in 2011. On the surface, the plant appears to be a classic example of the successes of normative industrial ecology, in which sustainability challenges have been met with forward-thinking green innovations. However, the TWDP is utterly dependent on a byzantine financial model, which has shaped Thames Water's investment strategy over the last decade. Understanding the development of the TWDP requires a focus on the scalar interactions between flows of finance and water that are woven through the hydrosocial cycle of London.
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