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TNWRRC supports research for all state academic institutions through the USGS 104b Funds. 

Each year, TNWRRC establishes research priorities with these agencies: Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, West Tennessee River Basin Authority, Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Environmental Division, and the USGS Tennessee Science Center. 

Annual funding historically has been $97K, increased to $134K in the last funding cycle, and with the reauthorization of the Water Resources Act and the Federal Infrastructure Bill, next year’s anticipated funding will increase to approximately $165K.

Selected Successes

  • TNWRRC was awarded one of the three FY21 national USGS 104g grants. It is the first time Tennessee has been awarded a 104g grant.
    • Research team from TNWRRC, University of Alabama, TVA, and USGS Arizona on use of paleohydrology analysis for flood prediction on the Tennessee River.
  • Research in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on effects of acid deposition on water quality, continued renewal of a 5-year cooperative agreement. 
  • National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates on Stormwater Management and Green Infrastructure Design under Jon Hathaway in CEE Dept. 
  • Development of an Urban Waters Report Card, supported by the cities of Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis, counties of Shelby, Hamilton, and Knox, TDEC, and the Tennessee Stormwater Association.  

Research Directions

TNWRRC works with ISSE to promote research priories at UTK and UTIA and research collaboration with other state universities.

Research Areas of Interest

  • Water availability and hydrologic modeling related to climate change.
  • New methods for flood modeling and mapping and infrastructure resilience.
  • Improved strategies for watershed management and treatment processes to reduce river nutrient pollution.
  • Enhancing treatment for stormwater runoff through green infrastructure, and developing new methods to assess water quality.
  • Create models to support food production migration from West to Southeastern US by integrating hydrology, vegetation, and economic models.
    • Research group with UTIA, UT CEE, and University Memphis submitted a proposal to the USDA Foundational Research Program on Food Security and Production in the Mississippi Delta Region. Award will be $750,000.