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Water energy is harnessed to generate electricity in power plants. There are many advantages due to the generation of power to the human kind but there are some limitations also. The disadvantages are being looked up on by the government of many countries to overcome them and use the power without harming the environment; some of the limitations are listed below.
As such water energy is constructive but the methods or the process it involves in generating electricity has some limitations. The power plants won’t emit any poisonous gases or waste water into the river. Then how it is harmful to the environment?
Lets us check some 10 major disadvantages below.
Huge dams are constructed for any big power plants so that they store more water to produce more electricity. But the huge area may disturb the living of the people in that area. The individuals are relocated or made to move to other places. The people living in the villages and towns that fall in the valley area are forced to vacate their home towns and leave their business for living. Not only human beings the flora and fauna are also destroyed.
The geological environment is active and responsive to the regional changes. The accumulation on sediments behind the dam in the reservoir is a great threat to the life span of the dam. This is known as sedimentation. It is nothing but the fine clay particles that are suspended and carried on in the river water, which is a product of erosion. Almost 0.5 – 1 % of annual global reservoir volume is lost due to the accumulation of sediments. This may also cause turbine erosion. In areas of large dam construction, the weight of the concrete added with the flooded reservoir and the sediment inflow adds a massive gravitational force to that area so that the area may not be stable as really assumed. This gives way to earthquakes. The hover dam in USA has triggered a number of earthquakes and it has depressed both its location and the earth’s surface
The water in the river may drain out supply no water to the dams may result in stopping the functioning of power generation. The climatic changes also affect the water collection. In cause of decreased rainfall the water will be collected less resulting in poor functioning.
Dams are really very expensive to construct. The dams must operate for many years to become profitable. Even though the effective cost that is the cost of production is zero the installation of turbines, generators, large dams are very expensive. The construction also involves more human labor and the maintenance of the projects is also costly so that many countries fear to build hydro electric power plants.
The fish’s habitat is shaped by the flow of water, water velocity access to food and shelter. The amount of water in the river is also a factor for the growth of fish in their life cycle. Completely draining the water from rivers may obviously kill the fishes. The construction of dams actually blocks or delays the migration of fishes from freshwater to seawater and the reverse. This may lead to the decline or extinction of the species. Many fishes which live in fresh water migrate to sea for reproduction and the reverse happens in many cases. This cycle gets completely disturbed by the construction of dams. The anadromous or catadromous stocks gets heavily affected due to the habitat loss, alteration, change in water temperature, increased pressure in water which are caused by the construction of dams.
The large dams are constructed across the rivers that alter the water table in the area. The rivers are diverted from their natural way so that they get collected in the dam thus it reduces the hope of water to the areas where it is needed. The change in water table level in Egypt is caused because of the construction of Aswan dam. The monuments there are slowly getting damaged because the salt and destructive mineral deposits on the stone work.
The area surrounding the dam is filled with water. The reservoirs release a very large amount of co2 and methane so the plants in that area start to decay and this dumps a large amount of methane thus polluting the environment.
The transmission of power through the pipelines from the generators happens in power plants so that the electricity generated gets distributed to all places where it is needed. But the loss in transmission is considered to be more about 30% loss is being recorded.