Drought Updates

Tennessee is currently experiencing a drought. Through this page, we will provide current listings of water systems with their drought plans in process, along with links with more information to assist citizens during this this dry season.

(Questions may be directed to Scotty Sorrells (615-532-9224) Scotty.Sorrells@tn.gov)


(click map for most current information)

Check drought conditions in your zip code, click HERE.

Tennessee Water Systems Currently Impacted

(Update 01/12/17)

System Name County Water Source Problem Measures in Place

Last Action

Ardmore (0000018) Giles Wells Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 11/17/16
BCCX Water System (0000553) Bledsoe Big Creek Impoundment Declining Source  1Mandatory Restrictions  11/10/16
Belvidere Rural Utility District (0000046) Franklin 2 Wells
Winchester connection
None Reported

No measures are being requested by the water system at this time.

12/22/16
Big Creek UD (0000122) Grundy Tracy City connection None Reported No measures are being requested by the water system at this time. 12/22/16
Cagle Fredonia UD (0000927) Sequatchie Big Creek UD Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 11/10/16
Carter County (First Utility District) (0000094) Carter 2 Wells None Reported No measures are being requested by the water system at this time.  12/22/16
Chapel Hill Water System (0000104) Marshall Town Well
Mary Fort Cave Well
Marshall County connection
Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation
Click Here for Updates
11/28/16
Cherokee Hills (0000138) Polk 4 Springs Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 11/10/16
Consolidated Utility District of Rutherford Co (0000791) Rutherford J Percy Priest Lake None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Copper Basin Utility District (0000844) Polk Campbell Cove Lake Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 10/13/16
Copperhill Water Department (0000136) Polk City of McCaysville GA Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 10/13/16
Cowan Board of Public Utilities (0000146) Franklin Spring None Reported No measures are being requested by the water system at this time.  12/22/16
Dunlap Water System (0000205) Sequatchie Sequatchie River None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/12/17
Eastside (0000219) Hamilton Tennessee River Declining Source None (No measures have been requested by the water system) 8/23/16
Fall Creek Falls Utility District (0000552) Van Buren Taft Youth Center Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions
10/28/16
Franklin (0000246) Williamson Harpeth Valley connection
Milcrofton connection
Harpeth River
None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Griffith Creek Utility District (0000278) Marion Big Creek connection Declining Source 3Mandatory Restrictions
(Commercial car washes are permitted since they are generally lower flow nozzles and more water conservative)
10/28/16
Hendersonville (0000293) Chester 5 Wells None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Jasper Water System (0000325) Marion Sequatchie River Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 11/10/16
Lakeview (0000596) Hawkins Wells
Rogersville connection
Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 11/17/16
LaVergne Water System (0000386) Rutherford J Percy Priest Lake None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Mallory Valley (0000428) Williamson Franklin connection
Harpeth Valley connection
Milcroft connection
Nolensville connection
None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Maryville Water and Sewer (0000438) Blount Little River  Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 10/19/16
Milcrofton (0000247) Williamson Harpeth Valley connection
Nolensville connection
Franklin connection
Mallory Valley connection
HB&TS connection
None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Monteagle Public Utility Board (0000470) Grundy Laurel Lake
Lake Louisa
Sewanee connection
Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 10/28/16
Murfreesboro Water Department (0000491) Rutherford J Percy Priest Lake Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 10/28/16
Oneida Water System(0000532) Scott Baker Lake Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 9/26/16
Pikeville Water System (0000551) Bledsoe Wells None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/12/17
Portland Water Department (0000559) Sumner Drakes Creek None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Sewanee Utility District (0000623) Franklin Lake O'Donnell
Lake Jackson
Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 12/22/16
Smyrna Water System (0000639) Rutherford Percy Priest Lake None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17
Spring City (0000656) Rhea Piney River Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 11/28/16
Suck Creek (0000909) Marion 3 Wells Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 11/10/16
Summertown (0000676) Lawrence 5 wells None Reported No measures are being requested by the water system at this time.  12/22/16
Tennessee American
Sequatchie Valley (0000749)
Marion Sequatchie River Declining Source 1Mandatory Restrictions 10/28/16
Tracy City Water System (0000706) Grundy Big Fiery Gizzard
Big Creek connection
Monteagle connection
Declining Source 3Mandatory Restrictions 10/28/16
Tuckaleechee Utility District (0000714) Blount Alcoa
Maryville connection (Little River)
Declining Source 2Voluntary Conservation 10/19/16
White House (0000745) Sumner Old Hickory Lake None Reported Normal Operations-No Restrictions 01/05/17

1Mandatory Restrictions in Place:

  • Washing sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, tennis courts, patios, or any other hard surfaces by commercial, industrial or residential customers except for sanitary or safety purposes 
  • Filling or re-filling of swimming pools
  • Non-commercial washing of privately owned vehicles, trailers or boats
  • Use of water for dust control or construction compaction
  • Fire fighting training
  • Residential watering of trees, shrubs, lawns, or flower gardens
  • Watering of golf course fairways
  • All non state-mandated line flushing by utilities and fire departments

2Voluntary Conservation:

  • Water system has requested that customers restrict unnecessary use and may request specific uses be deferred during specified timeframes

3Mandatory Restrictions in Place

Water use should be limited to mainly essential uses of water.

Essential uses include: drinking, cooking, sanitary use and firefighting.

 (Non-essential uses include, but are not limited to: car washing, house washing, using water to clean sidewalks, patios and driveways, construction purposes for dust control, firefighter training)


Additional Information:


Drought Planning

As drought conditions arise, voluntary conservation measures become critical. Just cutting back on typical warm weather activities such as watering lawns and plants, filling swimming pools and washing cars can make a difference. Voluntary efforts early during an expected drought  may prevent the need to mandate water-conservation practices in the future. There are simple things Tennesseans can do to conserve water, including:

  • Avoid washing your car at home with a hose – seek out waterless car washes or commercial car wash systems that recycle water
  • Take shorter showers
  • Fix all leaky plumbing fixtures, including outdoor hoses
  • Install sink faucets with aerators, motion sensors, or automatic shut-offs
  • Install low-flow shower heads
  • Run washing machines and dishwashers only with full loads
  • Install low-flush toilets, or put a one-liter water bottle in the toilet tank
  • Buy appliances with water conservation features
  • Avoid watering lawns. If you do, water lawns and gardens sparingly in the morning or evening to prevent excessive evaporation
  • Landscape with native plants, shrubs and trees – they are adapted to periods of drought and may require less water than non-native ornamentals
  • Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

Guidance for Developing Community Water System Drought Management Plans

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has developed a guidance document to provide community water systems with the necessary elements of a drought management plan. This guide is designed to promote and increase preparedness so that a drought’s adverse impacts would be mitigated. The guidance includes suggested drought management planning steps.

Click here to view Guidance for Developing Community Water System Drought Management Plans

Drought Management Plan
The department released an updated Drought Management Plan reflecting our plan for water management during extended periods of below average rainfall and streamflow as a result of drought. One of our departmental goals is to maximize the ability of our water resources to support all of its uses. This can be particularly challenging in the time of drought. However, history has shown that with effective management, proper planning and responsiveness, the impacts of a drought can be minimized.

This plan is an update to a drought management plan released in 1987. Its purpose is to outline TDEC’s role during a drought, to facilitate planning, and to provide a framework for action and cooperation in water resources management among the many local, state, and federal agencies with drought-related responsibilities. The plan, however, represents the state’s plan on drought management, since we serve as the lead state agency on drinking water and water quality issues. This plan outlines the resources that other state, federal and local entities can provide and the ways in which we can work together to lessen the impacts of a drought.

Click here to view the Drought Management Plan (updated February 2010).

External Resources

EPA on drought issues

Green Home Makeover: Water Conservation