Water wheels are perhaps the most straightforward example of hydropower, and also the oldest: They were used in ancient Greece and Rome, in ancient China, and throughout the Middle Ages. A water wheel is basically what it sounds like; a large wooden or metal wheel in a river or stream. Blades or buckets are placed on the outside rim of the wheel. These blades or buckets catch the flowing water, which causes the wheel to turn. The wheel is hooked up by gears and belts to machinery, and so can provide power for various activities. Water wheels were most
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