This part introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters. The part illustrates how a version of modernity, a certain way of managing natural resources – especially land and water – emerged in Morocco that progressively detached human communities from their ecological milieu, and split communities, marginalizing and impoverishing many. In Morocco, processes of modernization started, with the birth of a type of land management based on agrarian capitalism principles. Putting these in a historical context is key to help us understand how water management actors and water usage objectives changed and built the new premises for a modern water management system in the country. The part explores three aspects of the modernization process of the water management sector in Morocco and their shortcomings – technological modernization, economic modernization through market-centred strategies, and changes in governance. It describes the breakdown of human–ecological links through a special take on modernity.