Title: Old mills' hydraulics in the upper Amadorio River, Relleu (Marina Baixa), Alacant, Spain

Authors: Miquel Salgot; Manuel A. Soler

Addresses: Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Soil Science Unit, Joan XXIII, s/n. 08028 Barcelona, Spain ' Casa de l'Escrivà., Pça., Senyoria no. 2. 03578 Relleu, Alicante, Spain

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to show the efficiency, in terms of energy, of the ancient mills' infrastructures composed by little dams, channels and mills, working as a stairs of hydropower systems in the Relleu municipality, Alacant province, Spain. A very big difference among the efficiency of the ancient systems and the technology of today has been found. It is difficult to find money to retrofit the old infrastructures because the possible profits obtained will not be enough to recover the costs incurred, even considering the benefits derived from the upholding of the industrial heritage, an immaterial and intangible asset. In past times, conditions of technology, building, living and economy were very different than today and it was possible to invest time, money and workforce in building and using old hydropower facilities. The remains of this industrial heritage are there to show how difficult it is to evaluate the profitability of an investment depending on changing circumstances.

Keywords: water heritage; old mills; ancient water culture; material heritage; immaterial heritage; Relleu; Alacant; Spain; mill hydraulics; energy efficiency; dams; water channels; hydropower systems; infrastructure retrofitting; cultural heritage; industrial heritage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2015.071866

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2015 Vol.14 No.3/4, pp.275 - 285

Received: 05 Aug 2014
Accepted: 03 Feb 2015

Published online: 21 Sep 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article