Water is a source of both productive and destructive energy.  Many of us have driven by creeks where a sharp drop off in elevation happens.  In some of those places, a small mill has been constructed to harness the power of the water as it drops.  This power provides the energy to move the gear of the mill. This gear then turns other gears, which is used for grinding, milling, etc.  Whatever power the owner of the mill needs can be supplied.  This is an example of positive energy.  Destructive energy is where the power of the water destroys other things; Hurricanes are one prime example of destructive energy.  When the tides rise during a hurricane, the surges bring water to levels that are unusual.  These surges happen quickly and the water weakens items that are normally dry.  The raising and lowering of the water moves things (boulders, trees, cars, etc.) that is normally stable. These large items moving can cause a great deal of damage when they collide with other stable items.  Of course there are other examples of this type of destruction.  This page is to serve the purpose of the positive energy that water generates.

Hydro Electric power can be generated in several ways.  The most common way is for large dams to be built across rivers.  The dams hold back the water and restrict the flow downstream.  The larger the dam, the greater amount of water that naturally would flow.  With the restriction of water going through a smaller area, the energy of the water flowing through the opening has a high amount of energy.  The dam has generators that the water flows thru which transfers the energy to the generators by moving gears which the water turns.  A drawback of this type of energy is that it has to be someplace where the water can be stored, large populated areas cannot support the loss of land required for the buildup of water. Another drawback is that if the power plant is built on a river which does not have a dam, then during low flow times, the amount of power generated is less.

Another way for waters power to be harnessed is through tidal flows.  In areas where water raises and lowers a great deal, then generators can be installed under water to generate power through both high and low tides.  A drawback of this type of power is that tides normally change once every 12 hours; during the time that the tide goes from one direction to another is times when the generator will not be producing power.

The production of water energy will be addressed in more detail.