Water eutrophication has become a worldwide environmental problem in recent years, and understanding the mechanisms of water eutrophication will help for prevention and remediation of water eutrophication. In this paper, recent advances in current status and major mechanisms of water eutrophication, assessment and evaluation criteria, and the influencing factors were reviewed. Water eutrophication in lakes, reservoirs, estuaries and rivers is widespread all over the world and the severity is increasing, especially in the developing countries like China. The assessment of water eutrophication has been advanced from simple individual parameters like total phosphorus, total nitrogen, etc., to comprehensive indexes like total nutrient status index. The major influencing factors on water eutrophication include nutrient enrichment, hydrodynamics, environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, carbon dioxide, element balance, etc., and microbial and biodiversity. The occurrence of water eutrophication is actually a complex function of all the possible influencing factors. The mechanisms of algal blooming are not fully understood and need to be further investigated.