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     Tennessee Division of Water Resources (DWR)

Tennessee has a wealth of water resources with over 60,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 570,000 lake and reservoir acres. Monitoring and protection of these streams, rivers, reservoirs and wetlands requires efficient use of Tennessee’s monitoring resources.

TDEC’s watershed approach serves as an organizational framework for systematic assessment of the state’s water quality. By addressing the drainage area or watershed as a whole, the department is better able to prioritize water quality monitoring, assessment, permitting activities, and stream and river restoration efforts. This unified approach affords a more in-depth study of each watershed and encourages coordination of public and governmental organizations. The watersheds are assessed on a five-year cycle that coincides with permits issued with the goal of protecting water quality.

In addition to systematic watershed monitoring, sampling data provide for additional information needs within the division. Some of these include ecoregion reference stream monitoring, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) generation, complaint investigation, antidegradation evaluations, trend analysis, compliance monitoring, and special studies.