WATER MILL Essay Example

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Water mill

Environmental Impact and Sustainability Issues

The installation of watermill can be compared to installing a micro-hydropower project. This is because water mills rely on energy from flowing water in order to be used for agricultural processes such as grinding and milling (Jones, 2014). The plant can then be installed in a stream or any location that has flowing water. This mean that the system causes some changes in the way the water flows even though it does not cause significant impact on the natural water flow. An assessment of the environmental impacts arising from this project is vital since the lives of the inhabitants are generally affected.

To begin with, pollution of the water is expected in many ways. To install the system, dredging must be done along the stream or the river implying that the following water will contains soil particles. The communities the rely on the water downstream for domestic use will no longer have clear water and may be forced to decant the water always before use. Water pollution is also expected from oil and fuel spills into the water. The system must use oil to lubricate the metal parts and fuel to drive the engines (Hester & Harrison, 2003). These chemical substances must come into contact with the water and are later flown downstream by the water; the impacts are felt by those inhabitants who use the water especially for drinking. Also expected is noise pollution even though it might not be a major challenge. The machines are expected to run most of the time even during the night when people living nearby are asleep. This means that it poses a noise problem to the nearby communities.

To minimize the impacts, the project should be implemented in a location where there are bushes along the river or stream; these will assist to trap the soil particles, chemical substances and any other debris from the project. To minimize noise pollution, it is recommended that the water mill be fenced with structure that can minimize resulting noise. In addition, trees should be planted around the water mill as they will help reduce the noise too.

From an economic perspective, the installation requires investing in the mechanical component, civil works and water which translates to high capital costs. However, once completed, the project is cost effective because no fuel is required in driving the mills; the project relies on mechanical components implying that the operation and maintenance costs are easily reduced (Lichfield, 2008). There are economic spin-off expected as well since water mills are not effective as those mills that are run by diesel and electricity; this implies that the productivity of water mills is lower.

Socially, a water mill can impact on the lives of the rural communities in a couple of ways. It can help to provide the families with cheap and clean cereals with nutritional addition. The work load of the rural women is reduced since the activities performed by the mill would rather be performed manually by these women. In addition, the mill can be a source of energy that is environmental friendly. Therefore, from the design stage, the project implementation should consider public consultation in order to take account of the views of the local communities and to gain its support. Particularly, the implementation should take into account the social and cultural issues raised by the communities and provide a platform for communication (Escobar & Schafer, 2009).


Escobar, I. & Schafer, A. (2009). Sustainable Water for the Future: Water Recycling versus Desalination. New York: Elsevier.

Hester, R. & Harrison, R. (2003). Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy Sources. New York: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Jones, A. (2014). Water Sustainability: A Global Perspective. New York: Routledge.

Lichfield, N. (2008). Evaluation in Planning: Facing the Challenge of Complexity. New York: Springer.