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Environmental Engineering Research 2011;16(3): 113-119. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2011.16.3.113
Rubbish, Stink, and Death: The Historical Evolution, Present State, and Future Direction of Water-Quality Management and Modeling
Steven C. Chapra
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
Corresponding Author: Steven C. Chapra ,Tel: +1-617-627- 3654, Fax: +1-617-627-3994, Email: steven.chapra@tufts.edu
Received: August 10, 2011;  Accepted: August 28, 2011.
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ABSTRACT
This study traces the origin, evolution, and current state-of-the-art of engineering-oriented water-quality management and modeling. Three attributes of polluted water underlie human concerns for water quality: rubbish (aesthetic impairment), stink (ecosystem impairment), and death (public health impairment). The historical roots of both modern environmental engineering and water-quality modeling are traced to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when European and American engineers worked to control and manage urban wastewater. The subsequent evolution of water-quality modeling can be divided into four stages related to dissolved oxygen (1925–1960), computerization (1960–1970), eutrophication (1970–1977) and toxic substances (1977–1990). Current efforts to integrate these stages into unified holistic frameworks are described. The role of water-quality management and modeling for developing economies is outlined.
Keywords: Environmental engineering | Water-quality management | Water-quality modeling
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