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Results of an investigation of underwater electrical wire explosions using high-power microsecond and nanosecond generators are reported. Different diagnostics, including electrical, optical, and spectroscopic, together with hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic simulations, were used to characterize parameters of the discharge channel and generated strong shock waves. It was shown that the increase in the rate of the energy input into exploding wire allows one to increase wire temperature and amplitude of shock waves. Estimated energy deposition into Cu and Al wire material of up to 200 eV/atom was achieved. The spectroscopic analysis of the emitted radiation has unveiled no evidence for the formation of a shunting plasma channel. Analysis of the generated shock waves shows that ~15% of the deposited energy is transferred into the mechanical energy of the water flow. Also, it was shown that converging shock waves formed by underwater explosion of cylindrical wire arrays can be used to achieve extremely high pressure at the axis of implosion. A pressure up to 0.25 Mbar at 0.1 mm distance from the axis of the implosion at a stored energy of ~4 kj was demonstrated. A model explaining the nature of similarity parameters, which have been phenomenologically introduced in earlier research, was suggested.