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An artificial whitewater course (AWWC) is a site for whitewater canoeing, whitewater kayaking, whitewater racing, whitewater rafting, playboating and slalom canoeing with artificially generated rapids.

Course types

Three main types of course exist:

Flow diversion

These work by diverting a natural river through boulder placement or damming, or by creating new channels next to an existing river, possibly by a weir or power station outflow.

Tidal action

Created in estuaries with large tidal reaches, on a barrage across the river. The barrage is opened during a rising high tide to allow the sea water in, then shut as the tide turns. The water stored above the barrage is then forced through an artificial channel to provide water features.

Pumped

The nature of artificial whitewater courses necessitates the need for a drop in the river, and enough water flow to provide hydraulics. When this isn't possible (often in flat low-lying areas), electric pumps are used to lift and re-circulate the water to the top of the course. The shapes of these courses are commonly circular or U-shaped.

Pumped courses are extremely expensive to run, typically 1-2 megawatts of electrical power is needed to pump 15 cumecs of water down a course with a 5 meter drop in height.

Olympic whitewater courses



Other notable courses



Under planning or construction



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