Good water management in transboundary river basins depends not only on improving government policies and measures and enacting bilateral and multilateral inter-government basin–specific agreements and soft law joint arrangements. Equally important is the frequent involvement of multiple stakeholders in reducing water-related insecurities. Finding mechanisms to consolidate participation and partnerships of stakeholders is an important prerequisite for effective implementation of government arrangements and institutional regimes to protect rivers which cross national borders. Their role is also important at the stage of river basin regime formation. This presentation critically explores the opportunities and challenges involved in reducing water insecurities through expanding stakeholder participation and partnerships in transboundary water management in a number of selected shared river basins in Asia and in Europe. From a variety of water-related risks we focus mainly on those which are associated with water quality, i.e. water pollution, and water quantity, i.e. floods and water shortages. Our approach presupposes that institutional capacity building, strengthening coordination between government institutions (vertical and horizontal) and consolidating partnerships and participation of public, private and civil society actors is among effective tools for water management within shared river basins. We compare and aggregate major findings of the ongoing and recent international research initiatives, including the ‘Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience, M-Power’, two projects supported by the Asia-Pacific Network (APN), i.e. “Reducing water insecurity through stakeholder participation in river basin management in the AsiaPacific” and ‘Institutional capacity in natural disaster risk reduction in Asia’, and the European Commission concerted action ‘Cooperation along a Big River, CABRI-Volga’. This presentation draws on lessons and experiences of stakeholder involvement and coordination in water management in a number of selected river basins in Asia, including the Mekong, the Amur and Syr-Darya, and in Europe, including the Volga delta and the Scheldt estuary.