Hydropower

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Hydropower uses the energy from moving water to power machines or generate electricity. Used for over two thousand years in water mills, today hydropower is more commonly associated with electricity generation.

Basics

Photo of the McNary Dam on the Columbia River on the Oregon-Washington Border

Hydropower uses the energy from moving water to power machines or generate electricity. Used for over two thousand years in water mills, today hydropower is more commonly associated with electricity generation. Hydropower has been used to generate electricity since the late 19th century, and remains the largest source of renewable energy worldwide.
Hydroelectric power plants are usually built inside dams. The reservoir of water that collects behind the dam provides a steady supply of water, which passes through giant turbines to generate electricity. Hydropower is particularly common in places with high rainfall, such as Washington and Oregon, which together produce around 40% of the hydroelectricity generated in the United States.   Read more

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Latest News

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October 23, 2018 President Donald Trump signed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S. 3021), which includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, into law on October 23. S. 3021 outlines updates to the biannual WRDA legislation, drinking water infrastructure development, and...
U.S. Capitol
(2016-02-02)
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Geological Surveys Database Publications

1953, Ohio Geological Survey

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1971, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1971, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Topographic mapping, rock stability, oil and gas base maps, native sulfur
1971, Minnesota Geological Survey
Popular and elementary geology, Minneapolis-St. Paul (Minnesota)
1972, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Possibilities, reports of occurrence listed by county
1972, Pennsylvania Geological Survey
First occurrence other than in Arizona and Czechoslovakia, Luzerne and Dauphin counties
1976, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1978, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1978, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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1978, Pennsylvania Geological Survey

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