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Judge rules for San Diego in big water dispute

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- A judge says a giant Southern California wholesaler overcharges for carrying water on the Colorado River aqueduct, a major victory for San Diego in a high-stakes dispute.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled Tuesday that the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California overcharged for bringing water to the coast on its 242-mile aqueduct from 2011 to 2014.

The San Diego County Water Authority _ Metropolitan's largest customer _ sued in 2010 over the transportation costs, claiming Metropolitan was using a windfall to pass along lower rates to millions of other customers in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties.

A second phase of the massive trial will address whether San Diego gets a refund.

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