India is one of the most water stressedcountries in the world. However, despiteappreciable increase in funding for waterresearch, high quality science that is usableby stakeholders remains elusive. I arguethat this can be attributed to the absenceof research on questions that actuallymatter to stakeholders, unwillingnessto transcend disciplinary boundaries, andthe demise of field-work research culture infavour of computer simulation.Conventional wisdom is these trends aredriven by what is publishable. However,there is an increasing interest in the internationalcommunity in interdisciplinary,problem driven, empirical research. Usingexamples of my own research in Chennaiand Bengaluru, on water scarcity in urbanisingwatersheds, I offer some methods andinsights.