We have a huge creek that borders our property. The property was once a small paper mill. Getting the right to use the creek for anything is a governmental nightmare. we could easily be off the grid if we could use that water power.
Is it a real creek or a mill-race? You'd think if it's a mill-race, you're just using it as previous owners did. Or are they more concerned about the critters?
I do wonder why the properties bordering rivers don't use microhydro more often. The nuclear power plants all build on riversides, then use the river water as heat exchanger coolant, why should it be OK for them but not for everyone else?
...Oh wait, I think I just answered my own question.