The role of individual and collective human action is increasingly recognized as a prominent and arguably paramount determinant in shaping the behavior, trajectory, and sustainability of multisector systems. However, the effort to represent human systems in multisector system models has been fragmented across philosophical, methodological, and disciplinary lines. For example, major differences have emerged between modeling communities adopting divergent approaches to representing human systems, ranging from agent-based to computable general equilibrium to system dynamics models, to name only a few. Here, we deploy a new human systems modeling typology to orient and compare three diverse systems models representing coupled human-water interactions: 1) a multi-agent hydroeconomic model of Jordan’s national water system, 2) a large-scale water reservoir management and farm model of the United States, and 3) a city-scale coastal urban development model of human-flood interactions. The typology-enabled comparison reveals both major distinctions in human actor representation and model design between approaches, while also identifying potential points of synergy between them. We conclude with a roadmap for cohering and bridging insights across approaches through aid of the human systems modeling typology.