As with any governance framework, participation, transparency and accountability form the guiding principles needed for ensuring policies and decisions on water are responsive to citizens. When these features are missing, the sector’s integrity is eroded and corruption is given a fertile ground on which to flourish. In the case of water, corruption has become a driver of the sector’s crisis. Overuse and contamination, abetted by corruption, have caused water supplies to dwindle, user demands to surge and competition to increase for this indispensable resource. With increased water scarcity, corruption risks have risen throughout the sector. To counter these pressures, improved water governance is an essential element, but one that is often underfinanced or overlooked.