New forms of governance focusing on process-oriented societal co-steering through, for example, formal and informal networks, partnerships and dialogue, have emerged within the water sector. The governance transformation is intrinsically linked to the increasing focus on the complexity of water management and the multifunctional character of water and the search for alternative forms of organisation. The emergence of concepts like integrated water resources management and river basin management should be seen in the light of the governance transformation. The full potential of the governance transformation for improved management of water resources and services is yet to be fully realised. Water decision-makers and managers are currently not prepared to fully realise the development potentials of new forms of governance, such as facilitating inclusive decision-making processes, coordination and negotiated outcomes. There is thus a need for additional sociocratic knowledge and capacity development that, for example, puts the emphasis on the management of people and processes, diversity of organisation and knowledge sharing. As a part of this it is paramount to treat politics as a part of the problem as well as of the solution and to broaden water issues outside the water sector itself.