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Water Supply

photo of girl drinkingAlthough the TVA region usually receives abundant rainfall, averaging 51 inches per year, several extended dry periods during the past 25 years have heightened public awareness of water as a limited resource that must be protected and managed.

The Tennessee River watershed will add about 1.2 million more residents to the existing 4.7 million by 2030, according to recent projections by TVA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Additionally, growth in urban areas around the region, some of which are already facing water-supply challenges, will increase pressure on the TVA region’s water resources.

TVA is working with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and communities across the TVA region to meet these challenges. The goal is to ensure adequate, sustainable supplies of water for the region’s continued growth.

Managing the Tennessee River for water supply

TVA’s integrated management of the Tennessee River provides water for a wide range of public benefits. These include water for drinking, industrial use and agriculture; for generating hydropower and cooling nuclear and fossil power plant components; and for navigation, recreation and sustaining plant and animal life.

In some cases, these uses of water compete, especially under drought conditions. TVA is committed to developing regional partnerships to deal with these conflicts and help respond to the population and environmental pressures of the coming decades. Learn more about TVA’s water supply activities.

Water conservation

Conserving water not only reduces the demand we put on our water supply, it’s also good for the environment. Communities in the TVA region that use less water produce less wastewater. When there’s less runoff from lawns, sewage treatment, soapy water from car-washing, and other sources flowing into our streams and rivers, water quality improves. Users downstream have cleaner water for drinking, swimming, fishing and use by industry.

Water conservation also contributes to cleaner air by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat, transport and process water. These water and energy savings show up on our utility bills. Find out what you can do to conserve water.

Frequently asked questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about obtaining a water intake permit, improving water quality around intakes, interbasin transfers and more.

TVA contact information

For issues related to flow or water elevations on regulated waterbodies, please contact
TVA's River Forecast Center
(865) 632-6065 (weekdays, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. ET)
(865) 632-7063 (weekends and weekdays, after 4:30 p.m. ET)

For other water supply information, please contact
Gary Springston, manager, Water Supply, (423) 751-7336
Amanda Bowen, civil engineer, (423) 751-2271

Online resources

The following links will take you to water supply information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Ground Water and Drinking Water site.

Drinking Water and Health: What You Need to Know

Fact Sheet on Drinking Water Contaminants

List of Drinking Water Contaminants and MCLs

Local Drinking Water Information

Private Drinking Water Wells

Getting Your Drinking Water Tested

Analytical Methods for Drinking Water

Source Water Assessment

Source Water Protection

National Public Water Systems Compliance Report

Water Security

Small Drinking Water Systems: Small Systems and Capacity Development

Water Supply Websites

Alabama (permits)

Alabama (water quality)



Mississippi (permits)

Mississippi (water quality)

North Carolina


Virginia (permits)

Virginia (water quality)

Army Corps of Engineers




Read a July 2012 report (PDF, 3.5MB) on water use in the TVA region in 2010, with water-use projections to 2035. The report was prepared by TVA in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey .


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