In light of the contributions to this special issue I propose four directions for future research in freshwater geographies: place, matter, practice and hope. First, in spanning the social and physical sciences, the discipline of geography can shed light on water as part of biophysical, socio-cultural, political place. Second, notwithstanding the importance of place, the materiality of water matters. Third, practice encompasses two distinct fields: cultural practices of interaction with water places and practices of governing. Finally, in the face of abuse of freshwater and of peoples' relationships with water places, geography can work towards imagining and enacting hopeful futures.