This paper asks what lessons can be learned from experiences with coproduction in water governance. For this, we review a comprehensive corpus of articles in the field of water governance that relies on the term. We find that there are radically different understandings of what coproduction means in different branches of the water governance literature. Through this review, we demonstrate how and why coproduction needs to be analyzed for its political implications. Despite being timely and pressing, these questions are not addressed in a sufficient way by the scholarly debate on coproduction. In order to fill this knowledge gap, we first distinguish different historical traditions of coproduction and then explore their political implications along three questions: The “why?”, the “who?”, and the “how?”. We show that these questions find different answers not just between but also within different traditions of using the term. After describing and contrasting these variants, we conclude by summarizing the main lessons from our review and by identifying questions which call for future research.