Interfacing with the Public on Water-Related Issues—What TVA is Doing

by Janet C. Herrin, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, United States,
Arland W. Whitlock, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


Management of the water resources of the Tennessee River Basin has been a primary responsibility of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) since its creation almost 60 years ago. In the early years, the focus was on the design and construction of a system of dams and locks to provide flood control, navigation, and hydropower generation to the region. These structures, and the lakes they impounded, provided other benefits including good water quality, fisheries, and recreation. As the TVA lakes became one of America's favorite playgrounds, the demand for better recreational opportunities became a prime concern. TVA has utilized numerous methodologies to communicate with the public on both continuing and emerging issues concerning management of the Valley's water resource. The early efforts were primarily reactive. During the last few years TVA has become more proactive with a corporate initiative to focus on the customer and involve them in our operation and planning processes. This paper identifies and explains some of the tools and techniques being used to interface with, and involve the public in, the planning and operation of the water resources management system.

Subject Headings: Resource management | Water-based recreation | Public opinions | Federal government | Water quality | Management methods | Systems management | Water resources | Tennessee | United States

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