Freshwater ecosystems are exceptionally rich in biodiversity and provide essential benefits to people. Yet they are disproportionately threatened compared to terrestrial and marine systems and remain underrepresented in the scenarios and models used for global environmental assessments. The Nature Futures Framework (NFF) has recently been proposed to advance the contribution of scenarios and models for environmental assessments. This framework places the diverse relationships between people and nature at its core, identifying three value perspectives as points of departure: Nature for Nature, Nature for Society, and Nature as Culture. We explore how the NFF may be implemented for improved assessment of freshwater ecosystems. First, we outline how the NFF and its main value perspectives can be translated to freshwater systems and explore what desirable freshwater futures would look like from each of the above perspectives. Second, we review scenario strategies and current models to examine how freshwater modelling can be linked to the NFF in terms of its aims and outcomes. In doing so, we also identify which aspects of the NFF framework are not yet captured in current freshwater models and suggest possible ways to bridge them. Our analysis provides future directions for a more holistic freshwater model and scenario development and demonstrates how society can benefit from freshwater modelling efforts that are integrated with the value-perspectives of the NFF.