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SEATTLE CITY LIGHT ISSUES APRIL WATER CONDITIONS UPDATE

 SEATTLE, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Storm systems graced the region with nearly normal precipitation in March and early April, according to Seattle City Light. "This wet weather is heartening, but we're not out of the woods yet," noted City Light Power Management Director Ray Nelson. Despite the recent rains, the shortage of water at City Light's major hydroelectric projects has recovered only marginally since March 1, Nelson noted today. "We're hoping this is a turning point," Nelson said. "Time will tell."
 The wet weather brings total precipitation since January 1992 at City Light's Skagit and Boundary hydro projects to 25.2 inches below normal levels as of April 8. This represents a slight improvement over the 26.5-inch total shortfall as of Feb. 28.
 Detailed statistics follow for City Light's major hydroelectric projects.
 SKAGIT REGION (SKAGIT HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT)
 -- Precipitation. Precipitation at Diablo Dam totaled 7.5 inches in March, vs. typical March of 6.8 inches. As of March 31, cumulative precipitation at Diablo was 37.8 inches, versus 60.1 inches in a truly normal year. This brings cumulative precipitation through April 1 to 63 percent of normal -- an improvement over end-of-February totals, when cumulative precipitation had reached only 53 percent of normal levels. (As of 3 a.m. yesterday, interim data suggested continued improvement in April, to 65 percent of normal (see Note to Editors).)
 -- Snowpack. April 1 snowpack in the Skagit region was about 61.7 percent of normal, up slightly from 61.4 percent of normal as of March 1.
 -- Ross Reservoir Runoff/Refill Projection. City Light currently projects the combined storage and runoff to reach 57 percent of normal by Aug. 31. Heavy rains during the past month have caused the outlook to improve since March 1, when the utility projected 48 percent of normal. However, Ross Reservoir still is not expected to refill this year, and is likely to be at least 10 feet below full by the end of July, despite the utility's efforts to conserve water at Ross Lake by releasing only required minimum flows during March. City Light and the National Parks Service will issue a joint advisory in mid-May regarding potential recreation impacts on Ross Lake this summer.
 PEND OREILLE REGION (BOUNDARY PROJECT)
 -- Precipitation. As of April 1, cumulative precipitation since October is about 72 percent of normal. This is down slightly from the March 1 reading, when cumulative precipitation was at 73 percent of normal levels.
 -- Snowpack. Snowpack in the Pend Oreille region was about 68 percent of normal at the end of March, down slightly from 70 percent of normal as of March 1.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Seattle City Light performs comprehensive monthly helicopter snow surveys at 14 sites in the North Cascades, and monitors snow levels via remote telemetry equipment at three sites daily. These weekly updates provide a good estimate of actual conditions, but are not comprehensive./
 /CONTACT: Scott Forslund of Seattle City Light, 206-386-4233/


CO: Seattle City Light ST: Washington IN: UTI SU:

SW -- SE017 -- 5459 04/13/93 20:32 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1993
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