The purpose of this paper is examine the notion of tenure in connection with water resources and to explore whether the concept of water tenure has the potential to make a useful contribution towards resolving the world’s water resources challenges. It seeks to provide answers to the following questions: (a) What is water tenure? (b) Does water tenure really exist or is water simply too different from other natural resources? (c) Could the concept of water tenure be useful in terms of the development of natural resources policies and practices? (d) Is there scope for further work on the possible development of guidelines on water tenure?