Throughout history, societies have performed water management to provide themselves with water for several purposes. Here, three main entities of water management can be distinguished, which are: water availability, water technology and social organization. These three entities with their specifications and some examples will be presented in this study. The study categorizes and classifies some basic terms of water management, with a focus on the antique Mediterranean. For a holistic analysis of water management we suggest the utilization of an integrated approach called social ecology.