KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- A new study estimates that the Tennessee Valley Authority's managed river system created an $11.9 billion economic impact in the Tennessee Valley last year.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture's study examines the total effect from the recreational and visitor uses of TVA's 49 reservoirs.
TVA is the nation's largest public utility and provides electricity to about 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
The study finds investments yielded more than $1 million per shoreline mile and supported an estimated 130,000 jobs. Surveys of three reservoirs representing urban, rural and tributary reservoir classifications estimate the lakes draw 65 million visitors annually.
Study author Neelan Poudyal says the report is the first to examine total impact.