According to a number of scholars in transboundary water management, mistrust is considered to be one of the main obstacles to cooperation, especially for the exchange of hydrological data and information between newly-independent riparian states. The research presented here is focused on identifying the ways in which trust and mistrust are created through epistemic communities and global values in four sequential steps. The first step is conceptualizing and identifying the origins of trust in relations between the states using most prominent International Relations (IR) theories and proposing a definition of trust as “belief that other state would do what is right with the “right” being socially constructed and common for both trustor and trustee” based on a constructivist worldview. As a second step, the important role of epistemic communities is identified in both promoting trust and facilitating data exchange between the states. Third, examples from a case study of the newly-independent Central Asian states concerning data exchange on the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers are used to demonstrate how trust and mistrust are built through epistemic communities. Finally, the influence of international water virtues on trust are examined through the example of data exchange and its influence on trust in Central Asian states. As a result, the research shows that because of national interests, biased knowledge and competition for funding in newly-independent states, epistemic communities and global virtues fail to build common understanding of what is “right” and bring trust.