Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
U.S. government agency established in 1933 to control floods, improve navigation, and generate electrical power along the Tennessee River and its tributaries. The TVA is a public corporation governed by a board of directors. It has jurisdiction over the entire basin of the river, which covers parts of seven states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Created by Congress as one of the major public-works projects of the New Deal, the TVA built a system of dams to control the region's chronic flooding, deepened the channel to improve navigation, and encouraged the development of port facilities along the river. The projects greatly increased traffic on the river and provided cheap electricity, spurring the industrial development of what had been a chronically depressed regional economy. See also Public Works Administration.
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