I wholeheartedly agree with what you have said in this last post. With all things being equal, TVA can be persuaded to address longer term issues. If a constituency brings forth a reasonable proposal and in doesn't adversely affect other groups, chances are TVA will approve the measure. We are all very thankful for the folks that have worked tirelessly (and namelessly and thanklessly, no doubt), on behalf of the fishing community and everyone concerned with our local environment. And I hope the fight goes on.
However, this conversation started with a concern over the warm water spilling over Appalachia in response to the breakdown to one of their generators. The article doesn't go into why TVA had the need to keep the flows up, so we can only speculate.
Originally Posted by waterwolf
I agree and it is actions like this that prove to me that TVA has lost touch with the environmental impacts of some of their actions over the last 3 years.
The Elk River is about dead due to their generating regimes.
The Holston Trout fishery just got whacked again as temps have climbed into the middle 70's.
Now the Hiwassee takes a bath, because they are too ignorant to NOT SPILL 85 degree water down a coldwater fishery. Why that seemed like a good idea is beyond me, but would it have killed them to scale back generation for a few days while they got things fixed in order to save the fishery.
I like your passion for this issue, but I believe that there is more to the situation. With an extended dry period on top of a bad 2 year drought, water flows are at very low levels throughout the watershed and unfortunately for the coldwater fisheries, the water has to keep flowing regardless of the warming temperatures. A big part of TVAs mission has been to regulate the flow of water through the system and when a generator breaks down, they may have to take drastic measures. Had we been in a raining period or had the rivers been running strong already, its doubtful that they would have spilled. But it maybe that they had no choice. And it maybe that similar issues regarding flow are causing the damage to some of our tailwaters as well.
I go back to the link you provided:
If the total volume of water flowing into Chickamauga Reservoir is less than needed to meet system-wide flow requirements, additional water must be released from upstream reservoirs to augment the natural inflows (a function of rainfall and runoff), resulting in some drawdown of these projects.
Its possible that its ineptitude or a conspiracy, but I think its more likely a symptom of our drought and their response to what they have been tasked with doing (keep the flows, even at the unfortunate expense of the fish)