The importance of water governance is emphasised in both academic and policy literature. It has been widely acknowledged that the crisis around water issues is one resulting from governance challenges. Given the diversity and complexity of water use and management, there is increasing recognition that governance mechanisms need to fit these contexts and to cope with changes to socio-economic and environmental conditions. Despite these advancements in scholarship, ideals of a single institutional model, universal framework and diagnostics are some dominant features in the water governance debate. This review paper points out that discourses of water governance tend to obfuscate nodes of politics on scale and knowledge, resulting in a depoliticisation of water governance approaches.