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Let b be the speed of the boat ; c be the speed river's flow (aka current)

Remember that distance = speed x time

When the boat travels downstream, it goeswith the current. Thus, its speed is increased. The downstream travel is represented by the equation 2 (b+c) = 64 (2 hours is the amount of time it traveled; 64 is the total distance traveled)

On the other hand, when it travels upstream, the boat goes against the current. Thus, its speed is decreased. This is shown by the equation 3 (b-c) = 54 (it took 3 hours to travel 54 km)

We now have a system of equation with two variables.

2b + 2c = 64 ––> b + c = 32 3b - 3c = 54 ––> b - c = 27 2b = 59

b = 59/2 = 29.5 c = 2.5

Therefore, the rate of the river's flow is 2.5 km/hour