Very few people realize the vast amount of water energy that goes to waste every year. Every particle of falling or running water represents energy, the amount of which depends upon the quantity and the depth of the fall. This energy can be harnessed in the same way as the energy obtained from the coal we burn. Water that possesses energy, that is, water that falls, is often spoken of as "white coal." Power plants that transform the energy of falling water into electrical energy, oftentimes are the centers of distributing systems that cover hundreds of miles of territory, and give electrical service to many towns.
Fig. 48. - Pelton Wheel.