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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the environmental regulation of freshwater in both developed and developing countries. It first provides a historical background on the evolution of legal systems in developed and developing countries to address water pollution, including the emergence of the construct ‘normative river’, before discussing three water conservation regimes: the regulation of waste discharges into streams and lakes; the establishment of minimum or base flows in streams and levels in lakes; and the protection of wetlands connected to surface water bodies from loss through conversion to non-wetland cultivated or developed land. The basic instruments used in water pollution control are considered, along with national versus international regulation of waste stream discharges, reduction of effluent discharges, the growing recognition of environmental flows in national and international law, and the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. The chapter concludes with an analysis of trends in the environmental regulation of freshwater.

Keywords: comparative environmental law, pollution, water, freshwater, wetlands

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