The editors and 17 other authors probe the state of the art of cost-benefit analysis as related to water pollution. They survey the existing literature on costs and benefits, discuss the difficulties of measuring both costs and benefits, and suggest measures for overcoming them, both from theoretical perspectives and in terms of actual applications to practical situations involving pollution. Such questions as how to assign monetary values to good health and the perpetuation of life are confronted. The authors discuss the implications for public policy from many angles-where the pollution should be measured, who should pay (and how much) for water pollution abatement, whether pollution reaches a 'point of no return' after which bodies of water can no longer be cleaned up, what control mechanisms are feasible, and whether institutional changes are needed to take account of the 'common property' feature of natural resources. The chapters are based on a 1973 symposium sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.