Water values serve as an entry point into the intricacies of public policies and management approaches. Values are contingent assessments that emerge out of socio-ecological relations and reflect particular demands, legacies and opportunities. The concept of value positionality is introduced as the synthesis of multiple expressions of worthiness cherished by a social group. Positionality is a metaphor that connects the phenomenological understanding of water value with the politics of everyday life and the broader politico-institutional framework. It entails a cluster of meanings expressed through territorialised interactions across time, locations and scales. Positionalities converge or depart according to value praxis, that is, the clash of competing valuation approaches seeking legitimisation.