On 26 April, Prof Jan Hofman gave his inaugural lecture on “The Invaluable Value of Water”. In his presentation Jan went through his career in research and consultancy on water treatment with membranes, oxidation processes and modelling. Jan also shared his vision on future urban water management, and how the Water Innovation and Research Centre can help to realise his vision. It is his vision to create urban water security by closing the urban water cycles and disconnect growth from the use of (water) resources. Jan showed two examples of closed water cycles: Singapore and the Chinese Sponge Cities concept, both working on a level of an entire city. Closing a water cycle also has a risk to accumulate pollutants. Therefore, advanced treatment technology and nature-based solutions as well as smart monitoring strategies need to be used. But Jan’s vision goes beyond the two examples from Singapore and China: to create resilience, reduce energy demand for pumping and partly use existing infrastructure closing the water cycle has to be done on local or district scale. Closing the cycle at district level also could help to increase engagement of local stakeholders and improve governance.