Global water quality (WQ) modeling is an emerging field. In this article, we identify the missing linkages between global and basin/local-scale WQ models, and discuss the possibilities to fill these gaps. We argue that WQ models need stronger linkages across spatial scales. This would help to identify effective scale-specific WQ management options and contribute to future development of global WQ models. Two directions are proposed to improve the linkages: nested multiscale WQ modeling towards enhanced water management, and development of next-generation global WQ models based-on basin/local-scale mechanistic understanding. We highlight the need for better collaboration among WQ modelers and policy-makers in order to deliver responsive water policies and management strategies across scales.