Economically and socially speaking, water governance in developing countries is a major issue identified as a priority on the international agenda. This article is divided in three steps. First, we characterise the governance of water resources, by stressing the hybrid nature of the regulation rules used. Then, relying on examples of irrigated areas located in developing countries, we illustrate the difficulties arising from the different regulation rules adopted in water resources management. Lastly, we use the notion of global public goods to argue on the need of international cooperation issues relating to the governance of water.