A hundred years ago, the water wheel – the workhorses of the textile mills – drove the machines that made the Borders famous.
The technology used was ancient – possibly beginning in the Hellenistic period around 1BC – but it worked, and it worked well.
Centuries later, the Borders towns were built around the region’s water courses.
The fabrics created in the region were much sought-after worldwide and with that came expansion and, inevitably, modernisation.
Steam took over as the energy of choice, followed by diesel and electricity.
The rivers still ran, but no-one was using their immense power.
But a new machine, built by Water Engine Technologies – a company which opened up its research centre in Caddonfoot last Friday – should see the region’s waterways once more provide power.
Not for spinning and weaving, but for powering the technology of today.
The machine has other purposes which could help the developing world.
They say water is the elixir of life ... it could once again become the lifeblood of the Borders.