Water recovery is one of the key parameters in flotation modelling for the purposes of plant design and process control, as it determines the circulating flow and residence time in the individual process units in the plant and has a significant effect on entrainment and froth recovery. This paper reviews some of the water recovery models available in the literature, including both empirical and fundamental models. The selected models are tested using the data obtained from the experimental work conducted in an Outokumpu 3 m(3) tank cell at the Xstrata Mt Isa copper concentrator. It is found that all the models fit the experimental data reasonably well for a given flotation system. However, the empirical models are either unable to distinguish the effect of different cell operating conditions or required to determine the empirical model parameters to be derived in an existing flotation system. The model developed by [Neethling, SJ., Lee, H.T., Cilliers, J.J., 2003, Simple relationships for predicting the recovery of liquid from flowing foams and froths. Minerals Engineering 16, 1123-1130] is based on fundamental understanding of the froth structure and transfer of the water in the froth. It describes the water recovery as a function of the cell operating conditions and the froth properties which can all be determined on-line. Hence, the fundamental model can be used for process control purposes in practice. By incorporating additional models to relate the air recovery and surface bubble size directly to the cell operating conditions, the fundamental model can also be used for prediction purposes. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.