Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 285–311 | Cite as

Assessment of river quality models: a review

  • Deepshikha Sharma
  • Arun Kansal


The paper reviews river quality models on the basis of their conceptualization, processes, strengths and limitations. It analyzes advances in basic research and compares river quality models, namely AQUATOX, Branched Lagrangian Transport Model (BLTM), One Dimensional Riverine Hydrodynamic and Water Quality Model (EPD-RIV1), QUAL2Kw, Water Quality Analysis Simulation Program (WASP) and Water Quality for River-Reservoir Systems (WQRRS). All these models are widely used and ‘mechanistic’ in nature except for BLTM which was selected due its vast ‘useage’. In addition, the paper highlights the types of errors which occur during the modelling exercise. The paper also emphasizes on the pivotal role played by water quality models for development and formulation of various river restoration projects worldwide. The present review also suggests broad recommendation for choosing a river quality model.


River water quality models QUAL WASP WQRRS BLTM EPDriv1 AQUATOX 



1,2,3 Dimension


Biochemical oxygen demand


Branched lagrangian transport model


Carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand


Dissolved oxygen


Hydrodynamic program


Environmental fluid dynamics code


One dimensional riverine hydrodynamic and water quality model


Global environment monitoring system


Hydrology engineering center


International association on water quality


Land and Water Development Division of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


National council for air and stream improvement


Stream hydraulics package


Total maximum daily loads


United States army corps of engineers


United States Environment Protection Agency


Water quality analysis simulation program


Water environment partnership in Asia


Water Portal; United Nations Development Programme


Water quality for river-reservoir systems


Water quality models



The authors would like to thank Ms Priyanka Banerjee for the editing and proof-reading the article.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural ResourcesTERI UniversityDelhiIndia

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