Chancellor Bryant Appointed to Tennessee Water Availability Committee

January 24, 2018

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced he has appointed a steering committee of leaders from federal, state and local governments, industry, academia, environmental advocacy groups and public utilities to develop a statewide plan for future water availability in Tennessee. The plan, TN H2O, will include an assessment of current water resources and recommendations to help ensure Tennessee has an abundance of water resources to support future population and economic growth. The steering committee will submit a draft of TN H2O to the governor and will make it available for public input by October 2018.

“Abundant, clean water has been a strategic advantage for Tennessee and is critical to our quality of life,” Haslam said. “We need to ensure this critical natural resource is managed appropriately as our state continues to grow and prosper.”

Chancellor Jerri S. Bryant, who has served the 10th judicial district for nearly 20 years, will serve on the committee. She has a long history of professional and community service with organizations like the Tennessee Judicial Conference, the Tennessee Bar Association, and community organizations ranging from the Athens Kiwanis Club to Keith Memorial United Methodist Church to the Boys & Girls Club and more.

Tennessee’s population is estimated to double in the next 50 years. This growth, along with recent concerns over the utilization of the Memphis Sands Aquifer, droughts that have impacted numerous Tennessee communities, failures of aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and interstate battles over water rights, all stress the need to develop a statewide plan for addressing water availability.

Tennessee Deputy to the Governor Jim Henry serves as chairman of the steering committee.

“Tennessee’s manufacturing, agriculture, energy and tourism efforts benefit greatly from our water resources,” Henry said. “I am honored to help lead this important initiative and look forward to presenting the TN H2O plan to the governor in October.”

TN H2O will pay particular attention to surface and groundwater, water and wastewater infrastructure, water reuse and land conservation, as well as institutional and legal framework. Working groups composed of subject matter experts will conduct the research and gather information. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will oversee the development of TN H2O.

“A statewide plan will position the public and private sectors to better understand how to best preserve our water resources,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “The time is now to make mindful, fact-driven recommendations for the future of our water.”

Below is the full list of steering committee members:

Jim Henry, Deputy to the Governor, State of Tennessee
Randy McNally, Lieutenant Governor, State of Tennessee
Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House of Representatives, State of Tennessee
Dr. John Dreyzehner, Commissioner, Department of Health
Bob Martineau, Commissioner, Department of Environment and Conservation
Bob Rolfe, Commissioner, Department of Economic and Community Development
Jai Templeton, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture
Kevin Triplett, Commissioner, Department of Tourism
Ed Carter, Executive Director, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Dr. Shari Meghreblian, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Environment and Conservation
Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor, City of Franklin
Jim Strickland, Mayor, City of Memphis
Dr. Philip Oldham, President, Tennessee Technological University
Jerri S. Bryant, Chancellor, 10th Judicial District
Jeff Aiken, President, Tennessee Farm Bureau
Valoria Armstrong, President, Tennessee American Water Co.
Bill Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee Valley Authority
Col. Michael A. Ellicott, Jr., Commander, USACE Memphis District
Michael Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Hanneke Counts, Vice President, Eastman Chemical
Lt. Col. Cullen A. Jones, Commander, USACE Nashville District
Bob Freudenthal, Executive Director, Tennessee Association of Utility Districts
W. Scott Gain, Director, US Geological Survey
Mekayle Houghton, Executive Director, Cumberland River Compact
Kevin Igli, Senior Vice President, Tyson Foods
Bo Perkinson, Board President, Tennessee Municipal League

For more information, visit www.tn.gov/environment/TNH2O.