Abstract This paper reviews models for simulating storm water quantity and quality in an urban environment. This has been achieved by examining a number of storm water models in current use. The important features of twelve models, which represent a wide range of capabilities and spatial and temporal resolution have been described. Specific topics covered are: identifying important urban water quality parameters; the classification of modelling approaches; modelling approaches used to estimate water quantity and quality. These include statistical, empirical, hydraulic and hydrological models. Water resources management and planning tools, that are included in some urban storm water models, such as economic analysis, optimisation and risk analysis are also discussed. Features of twelve storm water models have been summarised. These models have been chosen because they demonstrate how components that are important in managing urban storm water have been incorporated in a modelling framework. These models have been categorised in terms of their functionality, accessibility, water quantity and quality components included in the model and their temporal and spatial scale. The information in this paper provides planners and managers with an overview of modelling approaches that have been used to simulate storm water quantity and quality. In particular, it provides managers with an appreciation of the limitations and assumptions made in various modelling approaches. This review will also benefit modellers by providing a comprehensive summary of approaches and capabilities of a number of storm water models in current use. Potential urban storm water research opportunities have also been identified.