Abstract: Dynamical and thermodynamic properties of water at room temperature in Ca- and hexadecyltrimethylammonium- (HDTMA) exchanged bentonite were determined for 4 different water contents (∼03–0.55 g water g−1 clay). Incoherent quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) was used to measure the translational and rotational mobility of water in the clays, while chilled mirror dewpoint psychrometry measured water activity of the samples, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) provided information about the temperature of dehydration and X-ray diffraction (XRD) quantified layer spacings for the clays. The neutron scattering data were fit to a jump diffusion model that yielded mean jump lengths, jump diffusion residence times and rotational relaxation times for water in the clays. Mean jump lengths were quite similar for the 2 different cation saturations at equivalent water contents, and decreased with increasing water content. The fitted jump lengths ranged from 0.27–0.5 nm and were 2–4 times larger than that found for bulk water (0.13 nm). Jump diffusion residence times were 3–30 times longer than that for bulk water (1.2 ps) and also decreased with increasing water content. The residence times were somewhat shorter for HDTMA-clay as compared with Ca-clay at equivalent water contents. Rotational motion was less strongly influenced than translational motion by the presence of the clay surface. The energy state of water in the 2 cation saturations were quite different; dehydration temperatures for the HDTMA-clay were approximately 30 °C lower than the Ca-clay at equal water contents, while water activities, as P/P0, were up to 0.6 units higher. A linear relationship was found between water activity and the translational diffusion coefficient, although at the highest water content, the diffusion coefficient of water for the HDTMA-clay was approximately 30% higher than that measured for bulk water.