In the majority of developing countries, farmers and plantations do not necessarily have easy access to sources of water which can be used to nourish fields, make crops grow and allow for day-to-day survival. Irrigation canals, while a beneficial way to transport water, only go so far. It is up to the farmers to take the water from the canals and bring it the remaining distance to their fields. Those areas which lack electricity and other sources of power make it so that farmers have no other choice than to manually haul the water or construct a system in which gravity can do most of the work. Both of these options are extremely laborious and entirely inefficient.
This is where micro hydro can come to the aid of farmers in developing countries. By installing micro hydro systems in existing canals, enough power can be generated to run pumps, thus making this water transportation task much more feasible. Instead of farmers having to waste time and break their backs carrying water to and from the canals, micro hydro systems can generate pumps to allow the water to be automatically brought to the farm or plantation for use.
Power generated through an effective micro hydro system, such as the PowerBallsystem developed by HeliosAtlas, can also be used to provide a cost-efficient and renewable source of energy. Even in areas in which no irrigation canal is centrally-located, micro hydro units can be placed along existing rivers or under small waterfalls to provide a zero emission energy source capable of pumping water over the extended distance.
What make micro hydro such a viable option for farmers in developing countries is that neither sun, nor wind, are required to make these types of units work. The flow of water is all that is needed to power the pump and give farmers in developing countries easy access to irrigation canals and sources of water.