Solutions: Canals, conduits, irrigation
Canals and conduits used for irrigation or water transport have a huge hydropower production potential. Some regions, like USA and south eastern part of Canada, have extensive water canal networks where renewable hydropower energy can be harvested in many low head drops.
As these canals and conduits have predictable water flow, the financial risks for the developer is reduced compared to hydropower sites that rely on consistent rainfall.
In a 2010 statement, the US National Hydropower Association (NHA) noted that only 3% of the 80,000 US dams generate electricity, and exploiting this untapped resource could double the US hydropower production and create a million jobs over the next 20 years.
The U.S Department of Energy (DoE) has mapped part of these resources in the April 2012 report An Assessment of Energy Potential at Non-Powered Dams in the United States.