This essay presents a detailed ethnographic account of the struggles of two Peruvian women to gain access and control over water and land after having separated from their husbands. From these accounts, it becomes clear that strategies for feminist action cannot and should not solely be aimed at formal laws and policies. Important water powers also reside in day-to-day water management and control practices that are embedded in culture and partly manifested in customary norms and laws, and that occur in social domains that are not normally associated with water management such as the household. The authors argue that identifying and understanding such non-formal water powers provides an important additional entry-point for devising feminist water strategies. It helps to see day-to-day 'bottle-necks' that hinder more gender equity in access to and control of water and land, and that stand in the way of a more equitable and democratic water management. At the same time, a focus on everyday water politics can also reveal important sources of agency for women, resources that they can mobilize in support of their attempts to access and control land and water.