Researchers lay out a path to saving the Mekong Delta

Nearly 20 million people live in Southeast Asia's Mekong Delta, which is also the source of 7–10% of internationally traded rice. But the delta will be nearly entirely underwater by the end of the century if water management ...

How hydropower dams impact the communities they're built in

Over the last two decades, almost 1,000 hydropower dams have been built around the globe. And while these dams provide many benefits to farmers, wildlife and the climate, the costs of their construction on local communities ...

One in five fish dies from passing hydroelectric turbines

Hydroelectric turbines put fish at risk of severe injury during passage. To support an informed debate on the sustainability of hydropower, reliable data of turbine-induced fish mortality are pivotal. A team of researchers ...

Waterfall sounds used as a telltale sign of water loss

Waterfalls have a specific threshold of water flow that must be maintained to preserve their characteristic sound and appearance, according to research that used audio recordings and images to monitor waterfalls in Europe. ...

Himalayan hydropower 'clean but risky,' warn scientists

With its steep topography and abundant water resources the Himalayas offer sustainable, low-carbon hydropower for energy-hungry South Asia. But there is a catch—the mountain range falls in one of the world's most seismically ...

Storing more water could solve Brazil's energy and food crisis

Large reservoirs in Southeastern Brazil can double river flow if the reservoirs are full, compared with empty reservoirs, according to a new study published in the journal Energy, from researchers at the International Institute ...

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Hydropower

Hydropower, hydraulic power, hydrokinetic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, and domestic lifts. Since the early 20th century, the term is used almost exclusively in conjunction with the modern development of hydro-electric power, the energy of which could be transmitted considerable distance between where it was created to where it was consumed.

Another previous method used to transmit energy had employed a trompe, which produces compressed air from falling water, that could then be piped to power other machinery at a distance from the energy source.

Water's power is manifested in hydrology, by the forces of water on the riverbed and banks of a river. When a river is in flood, it is at its most powerful, and moves the greatest amount of sediment. This higher force results in the removal of sediment and other material from the riverbed and banks of the river, locally causing erosion, transport and, with lower flow, sedimentation downstream.

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