J. Linton has indicated that a focus purely on the physical features in the hydrological cycle is giving way to a new ‘hydrosocial’ approach to water management, concerned not just with the physical processes of water management, but also equally with the humans who extract, utilise, treat, manage, guard against and dispose of it. The emergence of some hydrosocial approaches to water management needs to be understood in the long span of changing human relationships with water, linked to the development of cities. Urbanisation created significant water challenges for society. This is because the concentration of human activities in one location overwhelms the cleaning and recycling abilities of the natural environment. The hydrosocial model is counter-defined against the technocratic model because of its ‘social’ characteristics. This suggests that those delivering and regulating water services are doing so in a way that explicitly interacts with changes in social understandings and practices.