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Tennessee Watersheds

Watershed Management Cycle

Background: The watersheds in Tennessee have been divided into five groups based on the year of implementation in a five-year cycle. The Division of Water Resources bases its activities for each group by the group's position in the cycle. One of the following 6 key activities are occurring in each of the 5 watershed groups each year.

Six key activities occur during the cycle:

  1. Planning and Existing Data Review.

    Existing data and reports from appropriate agencies and organizations are compiled and used to describe the current conditions and status of rivers and streams. Review of all existing data and comparison of agency work plans guide the development of an effective monitoring strategy.

  2. Monitoring.

    Field data is collected for streams in the watershed.

  3. Assessment.

    New and historical monitoring data are used to determine the designated use support status of streams and lakes in the watershed.

  4. TMDL Development/Source Allocation.

    TMDLs are developed to determine pollutant loads that support designated uses.  The allowable pollutant  loads are then allocated among non-point sources and NPDES permitted dischargers within the watershed.

  5. Permits.

    Issuance and expiration dates of individual discharge permits are synchronized based on watersheds.

  6. Watershed Management Plans.

    Each existing watershed plan contains a general description, management strategies, and information relevant to water quality. Future plans will focus on TMDL implementation.