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CPUC approves structural change to water bills

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In this 2017 file photo, a sprinkler designed to spray in a circular area on the edge of a lawn on A Street in Bakersfield sprays into the street and other paved areas.

State utility regulators on Thursday put an end to a system that's allowed investor-owned water utilities including California Water Service to bill customers the cost difference between expected and actual water usage.

The California Public Utilities Commission, siding with its consumer-advocate arm, voted 4-1 to halt what are known as water-revenue adjustment mechanisms, which sometimes resulted in unexpected surcharges on ratepayers' monthly bills. Commissioner Liane M. Randolph cast the lone vote against the proposal.

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