Globally, water has been used for mechanical power since ancient times. However, water mills came much into vogue during the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and it was only in the second half of the 19th century that generation of electricity through water and its transmission became a practical possibility. In India, the fi rst hydropower project was set up on the river Cauvery, which started transmitting electricity in 1902 to gold mines owned by the consortium of British Companies that were 90 miles away from the power station.