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Energy from Water



Energy from Water
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.33

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    non-polluting, kinetic, hydrothermal, internal, generator, currently, disrupt, estimate, tidal, geothermal, efficient, environment, piped, drilled, brink, demand
     content words:    Niagara Falls, New York


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Energy from Water
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Do you know that over 150,000 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second? This movement releases a great amount of energy. It is used to produce electricity. How does this work?
 
2     At night, half the water flowing toward the brink of the falls is detoured into a tunnel system. The water flows over huge turbines. The motion of the water turns the turbines. This converts the kinetic energy of moving water to mechanical energy. It drives a generator that produces electricity. There is enough electricity made to power western New York and parts of Canada.
 
3     Electricity that is generated from flowing water is called hydroelectric power. The Niagara is not the only river that produces this kind of power. Dams are built across rivers. Behind the dam is a reservoir. The water flows through large pipes. It turns the turbines that produce electricity. About ten percent of the electricity used in the U.S. is hydroelectric power.
 
4     Power from water sources has many advantages. First, it does not pollute the environment. Dams provide drinking water to surrounding areas. They control flooding. They are places for swimming, boating, and fishing. Water power is inexpensive to produce and is a renewable source of energy.
 
5     There are also some disadvantages of hydroelectric power plants. Building dams disrupts the habitats of both animals and people. The natural pattern of water flow is changed. The reservoir behind the dam floods the land permanently.

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