Planning for water quality management systems is complicated by a variety of uncertainties and nonlinearities, where difficulties in formulating and solving the resulting inexact nonlinear optimization problems exist. With the purpose of tackling such difficulties, this paper presents the development of an interval-fuzzy nonlinear programming (IFNP) model for water quality management under uncertainty. Methods of interval and fuzzy programming were integrated within a general framework to address uncertainties in the left- and right-hand sides of the nonlinear constraints. Uncertainties in water quality, pollutant loading, and the system objective were reflected through the developed IFNP model. The method of piecewise linearization was developed for dealing with the nonlinearity of the objective function. A case study for water quality management planning in the Changsha section of the Xiangjiang River was then conducted for demonstrating applicability of the developed IFNP model. The results demonstrated that the accuracy of solutions through linearized method normally rises positively with the increase of linearization levels. It was also indicated that the proposed linearization method was effective in dealing with IFNP problems; uncertainties can be communicated into optimization process and generate reliable solutions for decision variables and objectives; the decision alternatives can be obtained by adjusting different combinations of the decision variables within their solution intervals. It also suggested that the linearized method should be used under detailed error analysis in tackling IFNP problems.