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Drought Conditions Worsen; Water Conservation Needed September 27, 2007

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SENECA, S.C. -

Persistent drought conditions continue to impact lake levels in the Keowee-Toxaway basin.

Rainfall in the area for this year is less than 60 percent of the normal expected average through mid-September. The recent decision by the S.C. State Climatology Office to move to the severe drought designation is a clear indication that the situation is worsening. Water conservation is needed to buy time for the region until widespread significant rainfall arrives to bring lake levels back to normal. 

Duke Energy continues its efforts to conserve water and encourages customers to reduce their use of water and electricity. “If you are already conserving, we appreciate your support in this effort,” said Joe Hall, lake services and permitting manager. “And if you are not conserving, we ask you to begin immediately.”
 
Lake residents who use lake pumps that draw water from the lake for irrigation can help conserve by not using them. Watering lawns is one of the largest non-essential uses of water within the basin. Also, typically, September and October are the time of year when many existing lawns are re-seeded and new lawns are started, requiring additional water. With no immediate drought relief in sight, experts advise it is best to delay these landscaping investments until substantial, consistent rainfall patterns return.

Duke Energy appreciates the public’s support to conserve water and work together to manage during this time of severe drought.

Boaters and other recreational users are encouraged to use caution and examine their surroundings for potential hazards when on Lakes Keowee and Jocassee.

Also, as part of a comprehensive preventive maintenance program at Oconee, Duke Energy continues with plans to lower Lake Keowee about seven feet below full pond (to 793’ mean sea level) beginning in mid-October 2007. This water will be stored in Lake Jocassee until this important maintenance work is complete. For questions on this work, please call the World of Energy, 1-800-777-1004, option #1.

For more information on lake levels and other related topics, please visit the web at http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes/ or contact Lake Services at 1-800-443-5193.

Duke Energy's Carolinas’ operations include nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides nearly 21,000 megawatts of safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to more than 2.3 million electric customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers energy to approximately 4 million U.S. customers. The company has nearly 37,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.


Contact: Sandra Magee
Phone: 864-885-4608
24-Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
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