Due to the pressures of increasing population and developing economy all over the world, the present situation of water-quality management is far from satisfactory. To enhance sustainability of water-quality-management systems, in-depth research of the related barriers and the relevant mitigation approaches is desired. In this paper, recent developments, advancements, challenges, and barriers associated with practices of water-quality management were analyzed. A number of related methodologies, applications, and policy considerations were examined. Issues of information support, technology development, system integration, and policy implementation were discussed. Perspectives of sustainable water-quality management in the twenty-first century were investigated, demonstrating many demanding areas for enhanced research efforts, including issues of data availability and reliability, concerns in system complexity and methodology validity, limitations of computer techniques, usefulness of research outputs, difficulties in policy implementation, and necessity of training programs.