This paper explores the potential of ‘boundary work’ perspectives for enhancing current approaches in water resources management and research with a focus on developing countries. Boundary work thinking is analyzed in the context of three currently leading approaches for water and natural resources management, i.e. Integrated Water Resources Management, Adaptive Management, and the Ecosystem Approach. Given the political dimension of water resources management, questions of governance are merged into the boundary work perspective. The paper introduces the Boundary Work framework as developed by Mollinga, discusses the potential of the framework for enhancing water resources management and research practice and proposes amendments to the framework.