In 2007, Tennessee suffered a drought of record in many parts of the state. At the same time the state managed through those extreme conditions, there was a desire to be better prepared for this kind of resource scarcity and the stress that growth and development are placing on water resources in some communities.
In response to those issues, and in accordance with §69-7-309 of the Tennessee Water Resources Information Act, the department organized a Water Resources Technical Advisory Committee to make recommendations on water resources issues. The 16-member committee provided helpful insight from diverse perspectives with the objective to help refine and improve water management policies or options for the department.
One of the first priorities of the Advisory Committee was to consult with the department in the development of a drought management plan. TDEC’s Drought Management Plan was finalized and posted to the Internet in February 2009. The document is an update to a drought management plan released in 1987. Its purpose is to outline TDEC’s role during a drought, to facilitate planning and to provide a framework for action and cooperation in water resources management among the many local, state, and federal agencies with drought-related responsibilities.
TDEC also developed Guidance for Developing Community Water System Drought Management Plans to provide community water systems with the necessary elements of a drought management plan. This guide is designed to promote and increase preparedness so that a drought’s adverse impacts would be mitigated. The guidance includes suggested drought management planning steps.
As the Advisory Committee reviewed impacts from the drought of 2007, discussion centered on the benefits of regional water resource planning. The Advisory Committee recommended the department pilot regional water resource planning projects to validate those benefits and then develop a model regional water plan for the state.
In late 2008, TDEC partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, members of the Advisory Committee and other regional planning experts to initiate a water resources planning pilot in two areas significantly impacted by the drought of 2007:
This Web page includes the final planning study reports, the overall guidelines for those interested in pursuing regional water resources planning in Tennessee, as well as information collected during the process. We believe that this information will provide a planning framework for sustainable growth and water resource demand while protecting all uses of our waters.
Contact: Elaine Boyd, Elaine.Boyd@tn.gov