The hepatitis A outbreak has renewed interest in the bacteria-filled San Diego River. The county has called downtown a “fecally contaminated environment.” A congressman has sounded the alarm about local waterways. And an image problem has arisen again, like in the 1980s when there so much sewage running into Mission Bay its beaches were closed a quarter of the time.

For years, San Diego water officials argued the region’s major supplier of water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, charges too much to deliver water to San Diego from the Colorado River. On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court declined to take up the case, leaving a lower court ruling siding with Metropolitan in place.

The ethics office within the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was created to help temper the long feud between Met and the San Diego County Water Authority. Now it’s become another tool in the fight. Metropolitan’s board may vote to fire its ethics officer after she appeared to side with the Water Authority in two recent investigations.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a powerful regional agency that provides water to 19 million people, paid nearly $88 million to exit interest-rate swap deals, and still has a $71.5 million liability on the books. Such payouts and the liability that remains show Metropolitan got the raw end of the deals and lost.