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Watts Bar Dam

Watts Bar Reservoir Land Management Plan

Update: July 2021

On July 6, 2021, the TVA Chief Executive Officer approved the final Watts Bar Reservoir Land Management Plan Amendment which updates portions of the 2009 Watts Bar Reservoir Land Management Plan.  Updates include land use allocation changes for eight parcels affecting 231.2 acres and new parcel descriptions for the 367 parcels on Watts Bar Reservoir.

Reservoir Land Management Plans (RLMPs) effectively guide land use approvals, private water use facility permitting, and resource management decisions on TVA-managed public land. The Watts Bar RLMP Amendment was approved by the TVA Chief Executive Officer in July 2021.

Watts Bar Reservoir is an impoundment of the Tennessee River formed by Watts Bar Dam and Lock, which is located at Tennessee River mile 530. The reservoir flows from the northeast to the southwest through Loudon, Meigs, Rhea and Roane counties in east Tennessee.

Watts Bar Reservoir is popular for boating, fishing, swimming, camping and other outdoor activities. A scenic overlook near the dam provides visitors with a panoramic view of the lake. Forest City Trail was one of the first entirely accessible trails built by TVA. It is a 0.3-mile paved loop trail located at the Watts Bar Dam day use area. It is a designated National Recreation Trail.


In July 2021, TVA updated portions of the 2009 Watts Bar RLMP and its supplements in response to new issues and changes in conditions and circumstances on Watts Bar Reservoir and modifies the land use allocations on eight parcels affecting 231.2 acres. The RLMP Amendment also incorporates previous updates to parcel numbers, acreages, and allocations from the 2009 Errata Sheet, 2012 Kingston Recovery Project LMP, the Natural Resource Plan (NRP), and Comprehensive Valleywide Land Plan (CVLP). The RLMP Amendment incorporates changes in “planned” land acreage from approximately 16,220 acres to 13,425 acres to reflect the removal of 2,796.1 acres of power plant properties from “planned” TVA reservoir land, consistent with the NRP and CVLP. Further, the RLMP Amendment includes newly updated parcel descriptions for its 367 parcels.

The Watts Bar RLMP Amendment contains a regional overview, information about the environment around the reservoir and descriptions of each parcel of land. The reservoir property is divided into parcels, and each parcel is assigned a single land use allocation zone. Descriptions of the allowable land uses within each land planning zone are  available here.

Volume II Watts Bar Land Plan Amendment (PDF)


Use the GIS Viewer Map to find individual parcels and land use allocations for TVA reservoir property.  Click on individual parcels to find out more information about a piece of TVA property.  Please note that parcel descriptions are included in the interactive map viewer for convenience, but may have been altered from the original description due to character length restrictions.  Please reference the appropriate Reservoir Land Management Plan for the complete parcel descriptions.  Also, please note that parcel descriptions are representative of the time in which the plans were written; some information may be out of date such as available facilities or names of commercial operations.

Download RLMP Amendment Maps (PDF)

How to Use the Viewer Map 

View Larger Map

Please note, no decision regarding purchase or use should be made based upon these maps.  Those interested in the allocations should apply to TVA and obtain permits or land agreements before making property purchases or commitments.

Land Allocation Acreage

The TVA land around Watts Bar Reservoir have been allocated for certain land uses as summarized in the table below.

Allocation Designation1 Acreage
Zone 2Project Operations1,867.9
Zone 3Sensitive Resources Management3,575.9
Zone 4Natural Resource Conservation3,787.0
Zone 5Industrial354.5
Zone 6Developed Recreation1,563.3
Zone 7Shoreline Access2,276.4
 Total 13,425.0

Zone 1 is Non-TVA Shoreland with TVA land rights and does not change as a result of the lands planning process.

Environmental Review

TVA’s land planning methodology incorporates the environmental review process established under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their proposed projects on the human and natural environment before final decisions are made.

After reviewing and considering the public’s input, TVA prepared a final supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) to analyze the environmental consequences of the proposed allocation changes. This environmental review is a supplement to the 2009 Watts Bar Reservoir Land Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.

After the final SEA was issued, TVA identified two additional parcels (Parcel 251a and Parcel 274a) affecting 5.2 acres which merited land use allocation changes to reflect existing shoreline access rights. A memorandum to file was completed March 24, 2020 consistent with NEPA and it is included at the link to Volume I below.

Volume I Environmental Review (PDF)

2009 Environmental Impact Statement (PDF)

It is important to note that RLMPs are programmatic plans that designate potential allowable land uses as defined in the  land use zone definitions and do not involve specific land actions. TVA would complete an appropriate site-specific environmental review prior to proposed development or activity on TVA public land.