Water and culture have been closely linked to human beings since ancient times. These connections were often lost in the process of industrialization. New water culture policies and initiatives reflect new attempts at collaborative transformation. They provide a way to transcend the current crisis- management discourse and related narrow policy answers offered by policy makers in Europe. The EU foresight scenarios describe potential future developments. They can serve as a starting point for cross-sectoral cooperation and policy making that can help solve the current and upcoming challenges and make it possible to take advantage of opportunities. Collaborative ecosystems need to be brought forward by policy makers and leaders as well as staff in culture and water organizations. This can change the dominant practice of policy making, which is sectored in silos and often can’t provide sustainable solutions. A set of interlinked initiatives provide a basis for integrated policy making and multi-stakeholder collaboration that can bring about positive change.