Because the Watermotor converts waterpower directly into mechanical energy with such high efficiency (80-85%), relatively little water is needed to obtain the power needed to run most machines. This means that a typical Watermotor installation will be simple, low in cost, and have very little ecological impact.
It also means that a far greater number of potential waterpower sites are available, and that there will be less problems when a water source is shared among other users. Some times it is good to point out that the Watermotor, or any other turbine does not actually use any water at all, but simply the natural energy from the water.
Example: Demo site Coroico
High efficiency means that all the components of the system will be reduced in size and cost.
A good practical example is the Campo Nuevo demonstration / test site on the eastern slope of the Andes in Bolivia. There a small fast-flowing stream, much smaller than would normally be considered suitable for waterpower, runs down a wooded tropical mountainside. As seen in the photo of the stream above we have only a simple diversion.
Part of the stream's water passes a small gate that controls water entering the "power canal". Just before the gate a spillway returns water to the stream if the gate is closed. There is no dam of any sort. In this case our power canal is a small pre-existing irrigation ditch.
The power canal is a way to obtain the "fall" needed to create the water pressure which drives the turbine. Although the word fall is used, the water is never falling as in a waterfall, but rather running down a slanted pipe at an angle to the turbine. Due to gravity there will be pressure at the bottom of the pipe. The vertical distance between the top of the pipe and the bottom (where the water enters the turbine) determines the pressure. More pressure equals more power.
Generally, it is desirable to have as much fall as possible with as short a pressure pipe as possible.
At our demo site we have a vertical fall of 60 ft (18.3 m) above the entrance of the pressure pipe to the turbine. The pipe itself is 160 ft (50 m) long.