The history of the Pisque watershed in the Ecuadorian Andes is one of local livelihoods and resources being disrupted by external actors: Incas in Pre-Columbian times, Spaniards during the era of Conquest and Colonisation, and, during the Republic, white-mestizo elites followed by international businesses. Local communities have suffered from, rebelled against, and adapted to adverse, ever-changing socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions. We trace this history from a political–ecological standpoint, applying the Echelons of Rights Analysis framework and the hydrosocial territory concept to examine conflicts over resources, norms, authorities, and discourses related to irrigation water. The centuries-old saga of battles over water in Pisque helps us understand the latest chapter in the story: the onset of rose agribusinesses, inheritors of the privileges of colonial haciendas. The recent arrival (ca. ten years ago) of small locally managed greenhouses adds complexity to the “food vs. flowers” dichotomy. It also makes it difficult to predict the effects on local attitudes to food security, water justice, and sovereignty.