The Open Air Water-Power Museum opened to the public in the summer of 1997. The project was co-funded by the Second and Third EU Cohesion and Structural Funds, with the support of the Region of Peloponnisos.
The research carried out prior to the museum's creation located over 100 water-powered installations in the vicinity of the Loussios river, bearing witness to the technology used by traditional communities to cover their basic needs as early on as the 16th century. However, over the 20th century the workshops fell into a derelict state as the region's population abandoned the countryside in favour of larger towns. Dimitsana, once home to 8,000 people, numbered just over 400 inhabitants and the Loussios gorge was totally abandoned when, in 1986, the ETBAbank Cultural & Technological Foundation (today's Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation) undertook an extensive programme of ethnological research and architectural charting, which was completed through the creation of the Open-Air Water Power Museum.
The restoration work was carried out with particular care so that the necessary interventions to the buildings' shells would not alter their initial form. At the same time, the workshops' permanent equipment was repaired and put back into functioning order. The Museum's objective is to preserve and highlight this technology while simultaneously contributing to upgrading this until recently abandoned region, by promoting alternative forms of tourism.
In 2006, with financing of the Third Support Community Framework and Piraeus Bank, a spacious parking lot for visitors as well as a multi-purpose hall and Museum offices were added to the Museum premises. Recently, the entrance of the museum with the ticket booth was remodelled. In addition to, a museum shop opened to the public.
The Open-Air Water Power Museum attracts a particularly high number of visitors, mainly school groups, and has been awarded the Europa Nostra prize, while in 2003 it was included in a brochure published by the European Commission that features the 27 most successful projects in Greece which were co-financed by the European Union.