The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013–2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores “water citizenship”—individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water‐related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.