HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Comparing Approaches to Water Quality Regulation

Robin Kundis Craig (University Southern California), Comparing Approaches to Water Quality Regulation, SSRN (2022):

Water quality regulation—the laws and policies that seek to prevent or limit pollution of waterbodies and drinking water—vary across a number of structural features and substantive goals and purposes. The focus of water pollution law, for example, can be ambient water quality or sources of pollution, or both. Water pollution can be considered a problem for both human health and ecological integrity reasons, and nations can vary considerably in the number and types of waters that they seek to protect through their primary water quality statutes and how they scale the resulting governance regime. Finally, the emerging human right to water can add a new dimension to water quality law, although this aspect of water quality regulation is still developing.

This chapter provides an overview of these sources of variation in nations’ water quality laws and regulatory regimes. Its primary mission is categorical—that is, to identify major categories of variation that emerge from the myriad water quality laws around the world. It illuminates these categories through snapshot illustrations from a range of nations, leaving more meticulous comparisons of specific countries’ water quality legal systems to other researchers.

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