This is so obvious, but I wonder why people do not generate electricity using natural water-falls? In a dam/hydro-electric power station, water is stored in a higher reservoir and made to fall to a lower one (man-made water-falls) and the flowing water turns the blades of a hydro-turbine generator in order to produce electricity. But I feel this is a hopelessly silly idea when we have a natural upper reservoir (mountain tops) where water gets collected due to rain and there are so many perennial water falls around the country!
God has given everything that we need, in abundance. Only greedy people will build dams. Why does anyone want to stop the natural flow of a river at all? Doesn’t it sound like an incredibly stupid idea? Especially considering that hundreds of villages need to be displaced at the time of building dams and some greedy states will hold all the water for themselves and will not give it to others! First of all, building any dam across any river should be banned, IMHO. We’ve had enough inter-state issues due to them.
The pro-dam people will say that dam generates electricity using hydro energy. How it is done? By blocking and storing river water in a large reservoir and sending it down. Who gives anybody the right to block naturally flowing water? If the Government does it, it doesn’t mean that it can be absolved of all the consequences.
Do you know how they store excess electricity generated by this process? They pump water using that electricity to the upper-reservoir and then allow it to flow once again through the turbines! The loss of electricity in this process should be obvious.
What is not so obvious to people is, why pump up water manually when the sun is already ‘pumping up’ water to clouds and depositing it over the hill-tops? The water is already flowing freely through water falls. It has kinetic energy, even more kinetic energy than artificially constructed dams.
People can still argue that the capacity of hydro-electric generators at dams is higher. What stops them from having multiple smaller generators at various points of a water fall and then combining all this energy? Won’t that be sufficient enough? Can’t we have one turbine every 50-100 meters without obstructing the flow of the water falls? Is it so difficult to wire them up?
Another point is irrigation. We have seen how well states cooperate with each other and share water and how a non-committal center complicates this process. Obviously this is going to result in benefiting the states in upper river course and will hamper irrigation elsewhere.
We have had agriculture for so many centuries and it has been doing well without dams. Why construct dams now? If at all, communities can be permitted to construct small storage areas and store some limited quantity of water. How can a Government allow a whole course of a river to be stopped/blocked? Insane.
The destruction to marine life and eco-system is maximum because of a dam. If there is no water, how will fishes/plants survive?
In fact, even flowing water of the river can be used to generate electricity. There is no need to stop the whole river to do this. Only, electricity needs to be tapped at various points using micro-generators and be used at nearby places. Even with this, there maybe some obstruction to aquatic life. But with water falls, the obstruction to aquatic plants and fishes are very minimum. How many times does any fish fall on you while you take bath in a water-fall?
If everything that human civilization represents is going to come down to greed, as we ‘progress’, even God will not help us.
Read this article for further info on generating energy from water falls.
Here, you can find an introduction to micro hydro turbines.