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Engineers calls on govt to deploy flooding from dams to generate power in Nigeria

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Engineers in the built industry have called on the government to deploy flooding from dams to generate power in the country.

The National President of the Nigerian Association for the Engineering Geology and the Environment, Dr. Waliu Adeolu, made this call in an interview.

He said: “Flooding does not just happen, and a consistent dredging is essential. Our dams do not only have to be released when there is high rainfall, our dams can be used when we have irrigational activities, so those water released can be utilized for agricultural purposes and power generation.

“If power generation is deployed, we would hardly have any of these dams having excess water to release when rain falls. Hydro-electric generation means we are not even generating half of the quantity of electricity that we have in the country, that sector can be improved upon, and we begin to generate 3 – 4 times than we already generate, what we would be using would be the water coming out from the dam, hence reducing it and keeping the flow at a balanced state. So, it is essential we find a way to utilize the water productively and to our advantage, such that we do not need to release them to flood the environment.”

Expounding on this, an electric/electronics engineer, Fubara Omubo, said harnessing the energy of excess water during flood events and converting it into a source of power revenue for the country involved several innovative methods that could promote both energy generation and flood control.

He said: “One method to consider is harnessing tidal power, which involves capturing the energy generated by the ebb and flow of tides, especially in coastal areas with significant tidal fluctuations. This energy is converted into electricity using tidal turbines and tidal barrages, offering a reliable source of renewable energy.

“Another effective strategy involves run-of-river hydropower projects, which are eco-friendly solutions that use the natural flow of rivers and streams for generating electricity.
Unlike conventional dams, these projects have minimal environmental impact and can be strategically situated in flood-prone regions to assist in flood control.”

According to him, floating solar panels also offered a versatile approach that addresses both energy production and flood management.

He added: “By placing solar panels on reservoirs or floodplains, electricity is generated from sunlight while simultaneously reducing water evaporation, which can contribute to flood prevention.

“Additionally, the concept of flood control reservoirs integrates flood management with power generation. These reservoirs are designed to temporarily store excess floodwater and release it through hydropower turbines once the flood threat has subsided, efficiently using surplus water for electricity production.
Another aspect to consider is developing micro-grid systems that are resilient to flooding and can continue generating and distributing power even during flood events, thereby assisting in meeting local energy needs.”

In the same vein, a Lecturer, Department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Bonny Island, Rivers State, Anthony Pepple, said channeling the flood flowing from the dam to a singular direction was essential in generating power.

He said, “If you can channel to a direction and have something like a propeller the force of the water can turn around because what can generate power is having a moving object that is rotating. Once you can have this rolling object you can generate power from there. Hence, if you have an object like a propeller where the force of the water is being pushed to make turns, then the energy wanted can be generated.

“The source of energy is inherent in the dams, particularly kanji dam, and currents are generated from the tides of the water.”

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, recently reported that 45 were killed, and 171,545 persons were displaced in 13 states, due to the flooding experienced following the release of water from Lagdo Dam by the Cameroonian authorities.

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