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Published June 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

Basin authority wouldn’t be a first

A basinwide water authority, like one that may oversee future flood protection projects along the Red River, is not unprecedented.

By: Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, INFORUM

A basinwide water authority, like one that may oversee future flood protection projects along the Red River, is not unprecedented.

The Tennessee Valley had serious flooding problems before the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which covers seven states and a 40,000-square-mile watershed.

TVA was established by Congress in 1933 to reduce flood damage, improve navigation on the Tennessee River, provide electric power and promote development in the region.

The authority operates a system of 49 dams and reservoirs on the

652-mile-long Tennessee River and its tributaries and manages 293,000 acres of public land.

Some have pointed to the TVA as a model the Red River basin could use to set up an authority.

Because TVA is a small board with a lot of power, the group is able to get things done, said Lance Yohe, executive director of the Red River Basin Commission.

The TVA is powerful because it produces hydropower and is able to have a fairly large budget, he said.

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