Home Page > Areas of Interest > Water Power

Water Power

Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya use more than 20 % of their import bills on oil imports. Over 70 % of the total Kenyan energy supply is derived from firewood. The lack of power for basic services, including lighting, water pumping and health care has been one of the major obstacles to economic development in Africa. 

Waterpower uses the force of flowing water to generate energy through waterwheels or turbines. The system provides cheap, clean and reliable energy for domestic and industrial uses.

For over two millennia, this source of cheap power has been used to drive machinery. The running water forces the paddles mounted around a wheel to rotate, and the movement is transmitted to machinery via shafts and pulleys. 

Waterpower, when properly designed, is the most faithful and reliable power in the world. A waterwheel will run all day and night year round, with practically no attention, except greasing the bearings. It will provide electric power to light, mechanical power to pump water or drive machinery and perform other tedious activities. 

 The introduction of waterwheels into societies in the past has created happiness and celebration among people. The first reference to the use of waterpower is in a poem by an early Greek writer, Antipater, dating back to ca. 400 B.C.. The poem describes young women's freedom from the toils of operating small hand mills to grind corn. Waterwheels were used for irrigation, grinding grains, supplying drinking water to villages, and later to drive sawmills, pumps, forge bellows, tilt-hammers, trip hammers, and to power textile mills.
  
 

 Water power in Italy