A hydraulic power generation system is provided for generating power using a pseudo-osmosis process which efficiently exploits the osmotic energy potential between two bodies of water having different salinity concentrations. The method and apparatus of the present invention does not require the use of a semi-permeable membrane or other specially formulated material, nor does it require heating or cooling of the fresh water or salt water solution. Moreover, the device may be used to recover energy from a wide variety of fresh water sources, including treated or untreated river run-off, treated waste-water run-off or effluent, storm-drain run-off, partly contaminated fresh water run-off, and a wide variety of other fresh water sources. The device is well suited to power production in a wide variety of geographic locations and under a wide variety of conditions. The invention has particular advantage for use in remote regions where electrical power generation by conventional means may be commercially infeasible or impractical.

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