Today more than ever, sustainable natural resource management is a societal challenge of dramatic importance. Among those resources, freshwater stands out as particularly vital, irreplaceable and complex. Climate change, increased demographic and economic pressures are expected to increase the demand for freshwater, while restraining the quantity and quality of this resource. Our societies are going to have to learn to do more with less in terms of water management, and business-as-usual solutions won’t make up for it. Looking at the urgency and magnitude of the threats resource systems are facing, scientists are calling for disruptive changes.