River water quality models are used extensively in research as well as in the design and assessment of water quality management measures. The application of mathematical models for that purpose dates back to the initial studies of oxygen depletion due to organic waste pollution. Since then, models have been constantly refined and updated to meet new and emerging problems of surface water pollution, such as eutrophication, acute and chronic toxicity, etc. In order to handle the complex interactions caused by the increased influence of human activities in rivers it is today mandatory to couple river water quality models with models describing emissions from the drainage and sewerage system (such as the IAWQ Activated Sludge model No. 1). In this paper-which is the first of a three-part series by the IAWQ Task Group on River Water Quality Modelling-the state of the art is summarized with the above aim in mind. Special attention is given here to the modelling of conversion processes but also the methods and tools to work with the models, i.e. parameter estimation, measurement campaign design, and simulation software, are discussed.

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