Introduction A vast and growing body of scholarly studies has shown how large-scale hydraulic and hydro-managerial projects, such as large dam and irrigation developments or market-environmentalist ecosystem payment schemes, have diverse socio-cultural and political-economic implications beyond merely altering water flows and raising socio-economic productivity. Concepts such as the hydrosocial cycle (Boelens, 2014; Linton and Budds, 2014), waterscapes (Baviskar, 2007; Budds and Hinojosa-Valencia, 2012; Swyngedouw, 1999) and water as socio-nature (Barnes and Alatout, 2012; Perreault, 2014) express connected insights about water being coproduced by social relations and in turn shaping these relations. The hydrosocial cycle, for instance, is described as a socio-natural process in which “water and society make and remake each other over space and time” cyclically (Linton and Budds, 2014: 170). Such coproduction of water and society is also reflected in the notion of waterscapes, conceptualized as socio-spatial configurations of water flows, artifacts, institutions and imaginaries embodying a particular world view (Budds and Hinojosa-Valencia, 2012; Zwarteveen 2015). However, these notions have so far largely focused on established hegemonic structures and discourses that drive and succeed from waterscape configurations. Less attention has been given to the multiplicity of diverging and overlapping hydrosocial territories that exist within one and the same space. To address this, we employ the hydrosocial territories approach, analyzing water territories not merely as materializations of dominant discourses and interests, but as multi-scalar networks in which water flows, hydraulic infrastructure, legal-administrative and financial systems, and socio-cultural institutions and practices are interactively produced, aligned, negotiated and contested (Boelens et al., 2016). Furthermore, combining the hydrosocial territories notion with Foucault’s governmentality approach highlights different forms of “government rationalities” and how they are entwined with hydraulic and hydro-managerial projects. We focus specifically on analyzing how ruling groups’ efforts to “conduct the conduct” of the governed (Foucault, 2008: 313) penetrate, operate through, and assimilate the rationality of the governed to advance neoliberal projects (Fletcher, 2010; Hommes et al., 2016; Zwarteveen and Boelens, 2014). Building on the work of Agnew (1994), Gupta and Ferguson (1992) and Elden (2010), we understand territories not as fixed spaces, but as spatially entrenched multi-scalar networks evolving from social interactions and practices, and materializations of these practices (see also Baletti, 2012; Brighenti, 2010). Social encounters and acts, including legal-administrative arrangements, technical reconfigurations and symbolic, cultural and political mechanisms of boundary-and place-making, actively produce territories.