tva logoTennessee Valley Authority

TVA To Lower Watauga Reservoir for Shoreline Work

October 9, 2013

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority will lower Watauga Reservoir, located near Elizabethton, Tenn., beyond its normal winter drawdown so property owners can perform maintenance on their docks and waterfront property after record high lake levels this summer.

The reservoir will be pulled down nearly 10 feet below its normal winter pool, which is about 1,950 feet above sea level. After about four weeks, the lake will be allowed to rise to normal winter elevation. Refilling the lake for next summer's recreation should not be affected by this, and will depend as usual on rainfall and runoff in the spring

"Watauga set two all-time elevation records this year, in May and again in July," said Chuck Bach, general manager for TVA River Scheduling. "After a very wet year with high lake levels, local property owners and businesses have requested the drawdown so they can work on their docks and clean up private property near the shoreline."

Watauga property owners, dock owners and marina owners are encouraged to take advantage of these low-water conditions to complete shoreline cleanup or permitted stabilization efforts, or general dock maintenance on previously permitted structures. Any new shoreline work or dock alterations will require prior approval from TVA.

TVA reminds the public during this drawdown period that it is illegal to remove, disturb, dig or damage cultural artifacts on federal property, including land normally covered by water. The public is asked to leave in place any cultural or historic objects and to report anyone digging for artifacts by calling 1-800-824-3861.

The area surrounding Watauga Lake has received more than 47 inches of rainfall since January. The entire Tennessee Valley, which stretches from West Tennessee across northern Alabama to the mountains of upper East Tennessee, received over 53 inches of rainfall and almost 30 inches of runoff since January, which is 134 percent and 155 percent of normal, respectively.

Information on the river system and specific reservoirs is available on TVA's website at and on TVA's free app for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Links to download the apps are available at For photos of various TVA dams, visit TVA's Flickr site at

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

Media Contact

Travis Brickey, Knoxville, 865-632-6263
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, 865-632-6000



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