Water and the EU’s role in protecting our water resources are increasingly in the focus of citizens and policy makers. To recall, a 2012 Eurobarometer opinion poll revealed that 68% of citizens across the EU consider water quality problems a serious issue, with peak values in several countries of around 90%. At the same time, our waters do not respect political or administrative boundaries, neither on pollution nor on floods. Planning and decisions in water management are thus increasingly shaped by EU legislation and initiatives, as well as conventions under international law. Addressing future challenges and approaches, the European Parliament on 3 July 2012 adopted a comprehensive resolution. An understanding of legal basis, context and decision-taking mechanisms are thus of increasing importance for policy makers and planners at all levels.