US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District Website

J. Percy Priest Lake Water Supply Study

FACT SHEET (As of May 2018)

Published May 1, 2018

 J. Percy Priest Lake Water Supply Study 


AUTHORIZATION: Flood Control Act of 1938 (PL 75-761) and the River and Harbor Act of 1946 (PL 79-524).

TYPE OF PROJECT: The J. Percy Priest water supply reallocation study is a full-Federally funded study to determine the water supply needs of users and the water supply storage available in the reservoir.

LOCATION: J. Percy Priest Dam and Reservoir is located about ten miles east of downtown Nashville and impounds a lake 42 miles long.  J. Percy Priest Lake covers portions of Davidson, Rutherford, and Wilson Counties and consists of 14,200 surface acres of water at summer pool elevation.  The water is surrounded by 18,854 acres of public lands; 10,000 acres are devoted to wildlife management.  J. Percy Priest Lake has one of the highest recreation visitation rates in the Corps of Engineers.  J. Percy Priest is one of the multi-purpose projects designed for flood risk management, navigation, and hydropower.

CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST: Alexander (TN), Corker (TN), Black (TN-6), Cooper (TN-5)

BACKGROUND: Multiple municipal and industrial water users have requested that the Corps of Engineers reallocate storage in the J. Percy Priest Reservoir to provide additional water supply storage.  The Water Supply Reallocation Study is authorized by the Water Supply Act of 1958, as amended. Currently, the study is undergoing public review.

J. Percy Priest Lake

·       The lake extends 42.0 river miles from the dam at pool elevation 490.0.

·       At normal pool elevation, which is 490 feet above mean sea level, the lake has 14,200 surface acres of water

·       At maximum pool level, which is 504.5 feet above mean sea level, the lake increases to 22,700 surface acres of water.

·       The project encompasses a total of 18,854 acres of fee simple land at normal pool level.

·       J. Percy Priest Lake is ranked in the top ten of the 25 most visited Corps lakes nationwide.

·       In fiscal year 2011, 6.0 million visitors recreated on J. Percy Priest Lake with a recreational economic impact of $106 million.

·       There are five marinas, a state park, a water park, and two group camps on J. Percy Priest Lake.

·       There are 17 Corps operated recreation areas (including three campgrounds), 10 non-Corps operated recreation areas, and 22 launching access points.

·       The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency manages over 10,000 acres of land for consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife.  Two wildlife management areas on the lake offer outstanding public hunting opportunities.

·       For additional Information about recreation facilities and opportunities on the lake, contact the J. Percy Priest Lake Resource Managers Office at 615-889-1975.

J. Percy Priest Hydroelectric Power Plant and Dam

·       The dam is 2,716 feet long and 130 feet high and consists of concrete-gravity power plant and spillway section along with a rolled earth embankment.

·       The 235 foot spillway section consists of four tainter gates with a capable discharge capacity of 187,320 cubic feet per second.

·       Each tainter gate is 45 feet wide by 41 feet tall and weigh 152,565 pounds.

·       One power generating unit is housed in the power house section of the dam.  The unit is capable of producing 28,000 kilowatts.

·       The estimated average annual energy output is 70,000,000 kilowatt-hours.  This production is enough to power an estimated 2,880 homes annually.

BUDGET ($): Estimated project costs are shown below.


Federal Funds Data


Allocation thru FY 2018


Total project cost



For more information regarding the J. Percy Priest water supply reallocation study, contact Loren McDonald, Project Manager, phone: (615) 736-7858, email: