Balancing a 49-dam, integrated river system to provide flood-damage reduction, navigation, hydroelectric power, water quality, water supply and recreation.
The River Forecast Center in Knoxville, Tenn., is staffed around the clock, 365 days a year, monitoring weather conditions and forecasts and constantly watching and adjusting the Tennessee River system to protect and provide the best overall value for the people of the Tennessee Valley.
River Forecast Center duties include:
The staff of the River Forecast Center is challenged by the uncertainty of long-term and short-term weather forecasts. Will it rain or will it not rain? Annual operating guides were developed and designed as a safeguard, based on more than 100 years of rain and runoff data. Every reservoir has an operating guide and these are followed year-round to prepare for the next flood—no matter if predicted rain materializes or not or unpredicted rain falls. They have to be prepared.
It’s a juggling act, but the river system is continually adjusted across the Valley. The staff of the River Forecast Center is highly committed to getting water where it’s needed, when it’s needed, and keeping it safely contained within the riverbanks of flood-prone areas.