This article surveys selected contributions of economics to the literature on water pollution and the regulation of water quality. While not a comprehensive review, the article highlights water pollution issues to which economics has made important contributions, as well as areas in which further research might illuminate critical questions from the perspective of theory, empirics, or applied policy analysis. The focus is on drinking water regulation and provision; water quality standards in local, national, and transboundary settings; and the issue of policy instrument choice for water quality regulation.

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