The power of water as a force is one of the most incredible to see. As humans, we’ve learnt to use and develop this power to our benefit. Hydropower is used to proved is with electricity. Hydraulics, using water as a lifting and moving tool is also well established. The cleaning power of water is rely on by us regularly. For example with the use of CCTV Drainage Surveys workers can learn exactly where to apply a blast of water to clear an obstruction or blockages. What other examples are there where we have learned to use water to our advantage?

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  1. The Watermill. Now, a part of a picturesque rural or village life scene, the Watermill is one of the first examples of humans using water to power an industry. Mills were used to mill corn and wheat. This made flour which in turn made bread. It was alot more efficient than the old methods of doing it by hand or by animal. For one thing, the water never got tired and needed a rest. This industry was vital to the village and the development of towns. If the mill didn’t run then food production was seriously hampered. As the industries grew, the use of watermills were still needed to provide power. A huge metal  wheel at Quarry Mill Bank, just outside of Manchester, is enormous. It powers the many spinning jenny’s inside the building. An incredible feat of engineering.

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  1. Hydro electric dams. For electricity to be generated a turbine must be turned. In coal and gas powered stations this heats water to create the steam to move the turbine. However, if you have a huge force of water spinning the turbine imagine how much energy you can generate? The answer is pretty limitless. One problem. To move a turbine of this magnitude you need a huge amount of water, lots more than the watermill, even though the principle is the same. This is why projects like the Hoover Dam are built to build up a large reserve of water to the be pushed through sluice gates that turn the turbines.
  2. Locks in Canals. When faced with the prospect of moving goods around the country at one time the canal was king. Most towns had them, not that you would now it know. For example Swindon had several large canals and the only evidence of it now is a mural. Brimingham had so many they dwarfed the amount in Venice. The only way that boats could get up rises and hills was to use Locks. A process of using water to raise boats up the river, being a lock keeper was one of the most well paid and sought after jobs in the country.

It’s pretty clear that we’ll continue to use water as best we can to further industry and for leisure purposes. We just have to be careful to conserve it and protect it as well.

By Roger Walker

The writer of this article, currently manages his own blog moment for life and spreads happiness, and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one.

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