Since the last third of the 20th century, managing rivers has experienced a change that is similar to a paradigm shift: what used to be a technicist paradigm—based on a hydraulic valuation turning environments into heavily artificial ones—has been gradually replaced with an environmentalist paradigm advocating protection or restoration of hydro-systems equilibrium. Supported by national regulatory frameworks and by influential pressure groups, this change of approach is particularly well illustrated by the dams removal, and several countries are trying to implement that policy. This new paradigm, which focuses on environmental considerations, however, raises resistance from multiple actors. In contrast to the environmentalist vision of free, wild rivers, opponents to the new paradigm support the vision of water streams that have been managed throughout history and appointed by local communities for multiple uses. Could a more integrated management of waterways be likely to reconcile these two opposing views? Keywords: Careful management, dam removal, environment, paradigms, planning, rivers