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The development of dams on rivers, with associated benefits of water storage for flood control, irrigation, and “hydropower” has played a vital role in advancing civilization throughout history. Of these, hydropower ingeniously and yet so simply combines two of the most fundamental components of nature on planet Earth — water and gravity — to help sustain our survival and improve our lifestyle.
This chapter will describe the role of hydropower from past to present and potentially into the future. Hydropower will be demonstrated to be a safe, reliable, and renewable energy resource worldwide, essential to our overall power and energy mix, both traditionally from rivers, through recent and growing development of pumped energy storage from lower to upper water reservoirs and evolving in the future with tidal and wave energy from the oceans.