Toward more fish-friendly hydropower plants

Over the course of the EU project FIThydro, research and industry partners studied the ecological impact of hydropower plants. ETH Zurich's Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW) has developed a protection ...

Himalayan glacier disaster highlights climate change risks

When Ravi Chopra saw the devastating deluge of water and debris crash downstream from a Himalayan glacier on Sunday, his first thought was that this was exactly the scenario that his team had warned the Indian government ...

Smart site selection can make hydropower greener

Even though new hydropower dam developments are intended to provide green energy, they can drown areas that are rich in plant and animal species. But this kind of collateral damage can be limited by strategic site selection, ...

Let me flow: Bosnians wage war on mini hydro plants

Looking out over the clear cascades of the Neretvica river in the heart of Bosnia, Safet Sarajlic says he is ready to spill his blood to defend the waterway from a hydropower project threatening its vital ecosystem.

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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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