The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, we review the existing literature on flow rates of water in carbon nanotubes. Data for the slip length which characterizes the flow rate are scattered over 5 orders of magnitude for nanotubes of diameter 0.81–10 nm. Second, we precisely compute the slip length using equilibrium molecular dynamics (EMD) simulations, from which the interfacial friction between water and carbon nanotubes can be found, and also via external field driven non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations (NEMD). We discuss some of the issues in simulation studies which may be reasons for the large disagreements reported. By using the EMD method friction coefficient to determine the slip length, we overcome the limitations of NEMD simulations. In NEMD simulations, for each tube we apply a range of external fields to check the linear response of the fluid to the field and reliably extrapolate the results for the slip length to values of the field corresponding to experimentally accessible pressure gradients. Finally, we comment on several issues concerning water flow rates in carbon nanotubes which may lead to some future research directions in this area.