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TVA River Neighbors
 


January 6, 2012

In this issue:
Rainfall and Runoff
Current Reservoir Conditions/Operations
Hydropower Production
More TVA Information

TVA provides these monthly updates on the operation of the reservoir system by email. We sincerely welcome your comments and questions. To provide feedback, sign up for future updates, change your email address, or be removed from this distribution list, please contact riverneighbors@tva.com.


You'll notice that, due to the holidays, this issue of River Neighbors is somewhat abbreviated. We'll resume our regular format with the February issue.


 

Rainfall and Runoff

Rainfall amounts for the part of the Valley above Chattanooga were very close to normal for 2011, and runoff was slightly above normal, at 110%. Wet weather during the months of March and April played a key role in helping TVA meet June 1 flood guide levels on the tributary reservoirs.

2011 Eastern Valley Rainfall

Month

Observed rainfall

Normal rainfall

Percent of normal

January

2.55

4.60

56

February

3.51

4.23

83

March

6.34

4.82

132

April

6.36

4.17

153

May

2.79

4.23

66

June

4.76

4.44

107

July

3.70

4.97

75

August

1.85

4.28

43

September

6.07

3.38

180

October

2.99

2.99

100

November

6.18

3.51

176

December

4.82

4.45

108

Total (year to date) 51.92 50.07 104

 

Current Reservoir Conditions/Operations

By mid-December, winter levels have typically been reached at almost every tributary reservoir. This year, however, TVA was still in the process of drawing down the tributary projects when November’s wet weather continued on into December—with rainfall occurring regularly throughout the month.

Consequently, several tributary reservoirs remained slightly above flood guide. Staff members in TVA’s River Forecast Center are making aggressive efforts to recover flood storage availability at the tributary projects. Spill operations have been taking place up and down the main river for the past month. At any given point of time during December, it’s safe to say that spilling was occurring somewhere on the TVA system. 

By the time this issue of River Neighbors is posted, those in TVA’s River Scheduling organization expect to have reached what they call “system re-set,” with all the tributary reservoirs at or below flood guide levels.

Tributary Reservoir Elevations
Reservoir January 1, 2012
Observed Elevations1
January 1
Flood Guide
2

South Holston

1707.1

1708.0

Watauga

1952.1

1952.0

Cherokee

1045.5

1045.0

Douglas

956.4

954.0

Fontana

1657.4

1653.0

Norris

1001.2

1000.0

Chatuge

1917.8

1918.0

Nottely

1761.4

1762.0

Hiwassee

1486.9

1485.0

Blue Ridge

1670.2

1668.1

Tims Ford

876.2

876.1

Normandy

866.8

864.0

¹Elevations above mean sea level, as of 12:01 a.m. on this date

²Flood guide levels show the amount of storage allocated for flood damage reduction during different times of the year. During the summer, TVA's goal is to meet downstream flow requirements while keeping the reservoir level at the dam as close to the flood guide level as possible to support reservoir recreation. From June 1 through Labor Day, reservoir levels fall below the flood guide only when rain and runoff are insufficient to meet flow requirements. During the rest of the year, the primary objective is to keep the reservoir level at or below the flood guide to ensure there is enough space in the reservoir to store the rain and runoff from flood events.

 

Hydropower Production

Thanks to near normal rainfall and runoff for the year, conventional hydro generation totaled 100% of normal for 2011—providing a much-valued contribution to TVA's overall mix of sources for power generation.

 

Get more information on TVA.com

The links below will take you to reservoir-related information on TVA’s website.

TVA’s reservoir operating policy:  Learn how TVA manages the flow of water through the Tennessee River system to provide navigation, flood damage reduction, power supply, water quality, water supply, recreation, and other benefits.

Reservoir information:  Get detailed information about individual reservoirs, including observed and predicted elevations and releases at TVA dams, reservoir operating guides, water quality improvements, fish population survey results, and more.

Rainfall and stream flows: Get the latest information on daily rainfall and stream flows across the Valley.

Recreation release schedules: View the 2011 schedule for water releases for rafting, kayaking, and canoeing below these TVA dams:  Apalachia, Ocoee No. 1, Ocoee No. 2, Ocoee No. 3, Norris, Watauga/Wilbur, Upper Bear Creek and Tims Ford.

Map of TVA reservoirs and power plants: Our interactive map is your guide to the entire TVA power system, including fossil and nuclear plants, dams and reservoirs, and visitor centers. You’ll find interesting facts about each facility and learn how they work together for the purposes of power supply, river management, and economic development.

Water supply FAQs: Get answers to frequently asked questions about obtaining a water intake permit, improving water quality around intakes, inter-basin transfers, and more.

Dangerous areas around TVA dams: If you like fishing or enjoy swimming and boating on TVA-managed reservoirs, you need to be aware of the possible hazards around dams, locks, and powerhouses.

How to lock through: Find out what you need to do to safely approach a navigation lock, secure your boat in the lock chamber, and exit the lock.

Reservoir health ratings: See the latest monitoring results for TVA-managed reservoirs.

Campgrounds and day-use areas: Get information here about campground fees and amenities as well as picnic pavilion reservations.

TVAkids.com: TVA’s got a Web site just for kids Learn about how TVA makes electricity, reduces flood damage, protects wildlife, and more. There’s a section for teachers, too.

TVA Heritage: Read about the people who founded TVA, shaped its purpose, and built its power plants. TVA Heritage offers fascinating glimpses of the agency’s history.

Get more information by phone
For the latest information on reservoir elevations and stream flows, call TVA’s Reservoir Information Line from a touch-tone phone:

  • From Knoxville, TN:  865-632-2264
  • From Chattanooga, TN:  423-751-2264
  • From Muscle Shoals, AL:  256-386-2264
  • From all other locations:  800-238-2264 (toll-free)

For answers to questions on how your reservoir is operated, call TVA River Operations at 865-632-6065.

For answers to questions about recreation, permitting procedures, reservoir land management plans, and other environmental issues, call TVA’s Environmental Information Center at 1-800-882-5263.