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Assisting Water Suppliers In Dealing With The Drought June 3, 2008. Lee Keck, Environmental Manager Tennessee Division of Water Supply. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The 2007 Drought . Reflects The State’s Broader Perspective on the Drought. Source related emphasis

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Assisting water suppliers in dealing with the drought june 3 2008
Assisting Water Suppliers In Dealing With The DroughtJune 3, 2008

Lee Keck, Environmental Manager

Tennessee Division of Water Supply

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Reflects the state s broader perspective on the drought
Reflects The State’s Broader Perspective on the Drought

  • Source related emphasis

  • Includes agriculture, PWSs, industry, the environment and their interrelationships

  • Coordination of agencies

  • Assisting users within each user group in

    dealing with drought

Droughts in tennessee s past
Droughts In Tennessee’s Past

  • 1940-41 Drought – Impacted Agricultural and Self-Supplied Users

  • 1952-54 Drought – Impacted Agricultural and Self-Supplied Users and Smaller Water Systems

  • 1984-88 Drought – Smaller Water Systems on Less Reliable Sources (Springs, Small Streams)


  • Creation of Utility Districts

  • Farm pond assistance

  • Interconnections among water systems

  • Reliance on larger, more reliable sources

  • Development of Drought Management Plans

  • The Future: Regional Planning

Interim state drought management plan
Interim State Drought Management Plan

In January 1987 the Office of Water Management released an Interim Plan which delimited the basic roles of State, Federal and local agencies in dealing with drought. The State is using that document to guide responses to the current drought. It is available at URL:

Tva usgs usws nc va ga al tn drought management team
TVA-USGS-USWS-NC-VAGA-AL-TN Drought Management Team

  • TDEC participates in this on-going team effort to monitor stream flows, reservoir levels, well-spring yields and demand-side information for the multi-state Tennessee Valley area.

Tema drought task force
TEMA Drought Task Force

A weekly meeting with:

National Weather Service

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE)

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) – Divisions of Water Supply and Water Pollution Control

Tennessee Department of Agriculture (DOA) – Division of Forestry, Market Development and Regulatory Services

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)

Tennessee Association of Utility Districts (TAUD)

Drought responses
Drought Responses

The State Drought Task Force updates others regarding drought impacts:

  • Public Water Systems

  • Navigation and Power Production

  • Wildfires

  • Agricultural Impacts (livestock, hay, etc.)

  • In-stream flow requirements - aquatic habitat

    and waste assimilation

  • Weather Forecasts

Drought 2007 task force situation report http www tnema org

Dealing with the media
Dealing With The Media

Issues DWS and PWSs addressed in 2007:

  • Systems with Pressure, Taste and Odor Issues

  • Systems Impacted by Drought and their Status

  • Vulnerable Systems – Sources and Inadequate Infrastructure

  • Systems Requiring Water Conservation or Restrictions

  • PWS Authority to Require Conservation

  • Areas with Private Wells and Springs Impacted by Drought

  • Line Extension Requests

  • Impacts to Aquatic Life due to PWS withdrawals

  • Livestock watering from PWSs

Pws intake problems
PWS Intake Problems

Systems have called the DWS due to problems with intake structure designs and locations

  • Declining Impoundment levels

  • Flows (away from structures)

  • Conflicts with up-stream users

Unpermitted withdrawals and large withdrawals affecting pwss
Unpermitted Withdrawals and Large Withdrawals Affecting PWSs

  • Golf Courses

  • Nurseries

  • Athletic Fields

  • Farmers

    There are State Rules designed to protect Public Water Systems

  • 1200-5-1-.34 (5) – Source Water Protection (i.e. Heavy Pumping)

  • 1200-5-8-.05 - Water Withdrawal Registration Requirement

  • 1200-4-7-.01-.10 - ARAP (Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit)

    Notify the DWS of any source conflicts

Assistance to industry
Assistance to Industry

Fearing cutbacks by municipal and utility districts

  • Industries have requested assistance in finding alternative and supplemental sources

  • Re-schedule production or cut-back production

Customer moratoriums and service discontinuation
Customer Moratoriumsand Service Discontinuation

  • T.C.A. 68-221-711(9) prohibits terminating customers without 60 days notice

  • PWSs should implement moratoriums on new connections and impose mandatory restrictions first

Livestock watering their problems can become your problems
Livestock Watering Their problems can become your problems

Many Chicken Operations, Cattle Farmers and Dairies whose springs, streams and wells have gone dry (or rely on limited sources) and are also customers of a PWS…

  • Accounting for increased water use demand

  • Often despite public conservation demands



  • Work with local and state officials to assist livestock owners with finding alternative sources. Involve County Agriculture programs.

  • Encourage owners to market livestock and/or alter production (i.e. bird rotations and animal density)

  • Terminate service and Contractual Agreements (non-potable uses)

Diminishing supplies
Diminishing Supplies

  • Monitor Sources

  • Manage Reservoirs & Stream Flows (where possible. Modify Operating Guidelines.)

  • Implement Management Plans

    1200-5-1-.18(2) requires systems to report the failure to comply, failure of equipment, loss of service or any other situation which presents an endangerment

Systems without water
Systems without Water

  • Mutual Aid

  • Tanker Trucks (not a good solution)

  • Interconnection – Emergency Contracts

  • Local Emergency Management Agency Assistance

  • Backup Sources

  • Bottled Water

Adding a supply or providing additional treatment
Adding a Supplyor Providing Additional Treatment

  • Water Wells

  • Springs

  • Lakes

  • Streams

    1200-5-1-.05 – Requires plans to be submitted and approved by the DWS.

Line breaks and meter replacement
Line Breaks and Meter Replacement

  • Old Meters are often inaccurate. PWSs are actively replacing them.

  • Leaks – 2007 “Leak Bill” focuses on this issue from a financial perspective

  • Line Breaks – a 12-inch main can result in millions of gallons loss – Replace vulnerable areas of pipe.

Private wells and springs
Private Wells and Springs

Fish Springs & Little Milligan , Sunbright area

Plateau & Middle TN – isolated farms and families

  • Line extensions

  • Licensed Well Drillers

  • Refer to LEMAs for assistance

Water conservation plans
Water Conservation Plans

  • DWS is providing considerable technical assistance to PWSs in developing Drought and Water Conservation Plans

  • Local Drought Management Guide for Public Water Systems


Local drought management guide
Local Drought Management Guide

A PWS’ Checklist:

1. Drought Management Planning Process (Process, Goals, Adoption, Pre-Event Actions)

2. Assess vulnerability and risks (Source, Storage, Infrastructure, Uses, Priorities, Other Risks)

3. Public Involvement (Expectations and “buy-in”)

4. Establish Management Phases and Trigger Points

Local drought management guide1
Local Drought Management Guide


5. Work with others (TEMA, neighboring systems)

6. Implement Plan (adopt Rates, Ordinance, etc.)

7. Be prepared to respond to the media

Use the media to communicate with customers

Deal clearly and fairly with issues

8. Monitor Situation (Revise –Update Plan)