Feminist encounters with technical water professionals such as, for example, engineers, modelers and bureaucrats bring into view fundamental questions and differences in approaching and understanding the use and management of water. Women engineers, for their part, may not be taken seriously by their male peers. According to Liebrand & Udas, for them to succeed and belong, they have to reconcile the performances of being a ‘lady engineer’ with that of a ‘normal’ masculinised engineer, which may be asking for the irreconcilable. This brings to fore how feminist politics in water contexts also involves becoming aware of, navigating and contesting prevailing identity boundaries. The gender experts in water development projects often lack the political clout to change the terms of dialogue with their technical colleagues, as their work is often considered marginal to the main task of achieving water productivity.