This review paper critically analyzes the economic literature on the approaches of measuring the environmental benefits. It focuses on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social costs and benefits) of environmental changes (degradation/preservation) on river water quality. Further, it shows how the monetary valuations of these effects can have an impact in making of economic policy for creating more efficient water quality management for environmentally sustainable aspects. Over 85 papers were reviewed and it was found that the economic assessment tools were studied independently without comparing the impact of one method over the other. The literature does not provide information on economics of the interventions to protect the river water quality and relate it to the increase in local flora and fauna and decrease in averting costs incurred by local people. Furthermore, the reviewed papers have not economically quantified various pollution control measures to improve water quality in rivers.
Key words: River water quality, river pollution control, monetary valuation, economic policy, environmental benefits