To achieve urban water security in the Asia-Pacific region, urban water managers can use a variety of demand management tools to alter the attitudes and behaviours of individuals and society towards water resources. The challenge of managing urban water resources sustainably involves variations to, and increased demand for, water resources as a result of climate change and urbanisation, respectively. Traditionally, water managers mitigate the impacts of water insecurity by increasing supply. However, these supply-side solutions have become too costly, both economically and environmentally. This paper argues that urban water managers in the region need to transition towards actions that attempt to alter the norms and values of individuals and society regarding scarce water resources. Using the framework of diffusion, water managers can use a variety of demand management tools to radically change people’s culture, attitudes and practices towards water resources and reduce consumption patterns. However, this process is not free of barriers; instead, there are multiple barriers, both external and internal, to managing water resources sustainably.