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Rapid change is a defining feature of the modern era. Increasingly severe threats attributed to global environmental change involve water, including among them scarcity, security, over-appropriation of water resources, extreme hydrological events, accelerating loss of aquatic biodiversity, and overstressed fisheries. Sustaining the aquatic ecosystems that provide fresh water, regulate water flow and quality, and provide habitat for aquatic organisms and biodiversity is thus key to sustaining human welfare and the natural systems that support us. Sustainable solutions—those that work across sectors, nations, and generations—will require major transitions in our thinking about water resources and the way they are governed and managed. By proposing a special session, we hope you’ll help highlight work relevant to sustaining aquatic ecosystems under global change.