Participation in the adaptation processes of river basin planning is necessary for sustainable water management. The article supports this statement by providing an overview of the work carried out within the framework of the BeWater project. We illustrate the methodology applied in the project, which resulted in four river basin adaptation plans for catchments in Cyprus, Tunisia, Spain and Slovenia. Furthermore, the project's case studies are presented as well as the challenges that stakeholders identified within their respective river basins. We show how the project was initiated in the case study basins and how it influenced their river basin management processes. An overview of the prioritized measures is given as well as a summary of BeWater's contributions to future river basin management undertakings. We end the overview with an outlook on how stakeholder participation can improve river basin adaptation.