Waterborne pathogens cause health problems worldwide. A global waterborne pathogen model could provide valuable new insights for data-sparse regions, by identifying pathogen hotspots and evaluating global change and risk management scenarios. Global waterborne pathogen modelling is not as advanced as global modelling of other water pollutants like nutrients. Our objective is to learn from existing watershed-scale waterborne pathogen models and global nutrient export models for the development of a global waterborne pathogen model. We describe how desirable characteristics of a global waterborne pathogen model are represented in current models of waterborne pathogens and river nutrient export. We present a conceptual global waterborne pathogen model, combining the existing knowledge on nutrient and pathogen models and identify data needs for such a model. Our review paves the way for an exciting new opportunity in waterborne pathogen modelling.