A report on Watermill and Hydropower

Watermill of Braine-le-Château, Belgium (12th century)
The Three Gorges Dam in China; the hydroelectric dam is the world's largest power station by installed capacity.
Interior of the Lyme Regis watermill, UK (14th century)
A water piston from the Nongshu by Wang Zhen (fl. 1290–1333)
Model of a Roman water-powered grain-mill described by Vitruvius. The millstone (upper floor) is powered by an undershot waterwheel by the way of a gear mechanism (lower floor)
Saint Anthony Falls, United States; hydropower was used here to mill flour.
Scheme of the Roman Hierapolis sawmill, the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod mechanism.
Directly water-powered ore mill, late nineteenth century
Roman turbine mill at Chemtou, Tunisia. The tangential water inflow of the millrace made the horizontal wheel in the shaft turn like a true turbine, the earliest known.
Benoît Fourneyron, the French engineer who developed the first hydropower turbine
Medieval watermill
A shishi-odoshi powered by falling water breaks the quietness of a Japanese garden with the sound of a bamboo rocker arm hitting a rock.
German ship mills on the Rhine, around 1411
A conventional dammed-hydro facility (hydroelectric dam) is the most common type of hydroelectric power generation.
A Northern Song era (960–1127) water-powered mill for dehusking grain with a horizontal wheel
Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, Washington, is a major run-of-the-river station without a sizeable reservoir.
An Afghan water mill photographed during the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-1880). The rectangular water mill has a thatched roof and traditional design with a small horizontal mill-house built of stone or perhaps mud bricks
Micro hydro in Northwest Vietnam
A watermill in Tapolca, Veszprem County, Hungary
The upper reservoir and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme in Wales. The lower power station can generate 360 MW of electricity.
Roblin's Mill, a watermill, at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Watermills on the Pliva in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The interior of a functional watermill at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
Mulino Meraviglia in San Vittore Olona, Italy, along Olona river
Dalgarven Mill, Ayrshire, United Kingdom
A breastshot waterwheel at Dalgarven Mill, United Kingdom
Watermill in Kuusamo (Finland)
Watermill in Jahodná (Slovakia)
Watermill in Caldas Novas, Brazil
Former watermill in Kohila, Estonia
Undershot water wheel, applied for watermilling since the 1st century BC
Overshot water wheel, applied for watermilling since the 1st century BC
Breastshot water wheel, applied for watermilling since the 3rd century AD<ref name="Wikander 2000, 375"/>
Pitchback water wheel, often used to increase the power generated by a breastshot wheel<ref name="Yorke">{{cite book|last=Yorke|first=Stan|title=The Industrial Revolution explained|publisher=Countryside Books|location=Newbury, Berks|year=2005|pages=20–31|isbn=978-1-85306-935-2}}</ref>

A watermill or water mill is a mill that uses hydropower.

- Watermill

Since ancient times, hydropower from watermills has been used as a renewable energy source for irrigation and the operation of mechanical devices, such as gristmills, sawmills, textile mills, trip hammers, dock cranes, domestic lifts, and ore mills.

- Hydropower
Watermill of Braine-le-Château, Belgium (12th century)

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A 1960s trip hammer placed at Trattenbach village, Lower Austria

Trip hammer

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Massive powered hammer.

Massive powered hammer.

A 1960s trip hammer placed at Trattenbach village, Lower Austria
The same trip hammer in operation, shaping a folding knife at the strike area
A water powered trip hammer from the Nong Shu by Wang Zhen (fl. 1290–1333)
Hydrodynamic powered trip hammer set, illustration from the Tiangong Kaiwu encyclopedia of 1637, written by Song Yingxing (1587–1666)
The regular indentations on the Carreg Pumsaint and similar mortar blocks are believed to stem from mechanically operated trip hammers.
Roman stone anvil for a stamp battery
Water-powered ore crusher by Georgius Agricola
Water-powered hammers at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Historically, trip hammers were often powered hydraulically by a water wheel.

Grain-pounders with pestles, as well as ordinary watermills, are attested as late as the middle of the 5th century AD in a monastery founded by Romanus of Condat in the remote Jura region, indicating that the knowledge of trip hammers continued into the early Middle Ages.

Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, Arizona, USA


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Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface water or underground streams.

Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface water or underground streams.

Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, Arizona, USA
Lake Vyrnwy Dam, Wales, finished in 1888
Karapuzha Dam, an earthen dam in the Indian state of Kerala
Imatrankoski Dam on the Vuoksi River in Imatra, Finland
Small dam near Groningen, Netherlands
Afsluitdijk with the Wadden Sea (a part of the North Sea) on the left and the IJsselmeer on the right in the Netherlands
The Roman dam at Cornalvo in Spain has been in use for almost two millennia.
Remains of the Band-e Kaisar dam, built by the Romans in the 3rd century AD
An engraving of the Rideau Canal locks at Bytown
Masonry arch wall, Parramatta, New South Wales, the first engineered dam built in Australia
The Hoover Dam by Ansel Adams, 1942
Gordon Dam, Tasmania, is an arch dam.
Daniel-Johnson Dam, Quebec, is a multiple-arch buttress dam.
The Grand Coulee Dam is an example of a solid gravity dam.
The Hoover Dam is an example of an arch-gravity dam.
The Koshi Barrage of Nepal
Gathright Dam in Virginia is a rock-fill embankment dam.
Redridge Steel Dam, built 1905, Michigan
A timber crib dam in Michigan, 1978
A cofferdam during the construction of locks at the Montgomery Point Lock and Dam
Hydraulic turbine and electric generator
Hydroelectric dam in cross section
Spillway on Llyn Brianne dam, Wales, soon after first fill
The discharge of Takato Dam
Wood and garbage accumulation due to a dam
South Fork Dam failure and resulting flood that destroyed Johnstown in Pennsylvania in 1889
International special sign for works and installations containing dangerous forces

Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity.

Water was conducted from the back of the dam through a large pipe to drive a water wheel and watermill.

The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue).


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Natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.

Natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river.

The Amazon River (dark blue) and the rivers which flow into it (medium blue).
The start of a mountain stream.
Melting toe of Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
The Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
The Porvoo River (Porvoonjoki) in the medieval town of Porvoo, Finland
Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. The Nile is an example of a wave-dominated delta that has the classic Greek letter delta (Δ) shape after which river deltas were named.
A radar image of a 400 km river of methane and ethane near the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
River meandering course
Flash flooding caused by a large amount of rain falling in a short amount of time
The mouth of the River Seaton in Cornwall after heavy rain caused flooding and significant erosion of the beach.
Frozen river in Alaska
Leisure activities on the River Avon at Avon Valley Country Park, Keynsham, United Kingdom. A boat giving trips to the public passes a moored private boat.
Watermill in Belgium.
River bank repair

Most of the major cities of the world are situated on the banks of rivers, as they are, or were, used as a source of water, for obtaining food, for transport, as borders, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, and as a means of disposing of waste.

Fast flowing rivers and waterfalls are widely used as sources of energy, via watermills and hydroelectric plants.