“Water is life” – but at the same time it is an economic asset, an environmental good, a traffic route. These different types of uses have to be taken into account by modern water law and a modern administrative practice. Young experts in the fields of environmental and economic law discuss current issues of liberalisation of water markets from a comparative perspective against the background of increased environmental requirements for the safeguard of water quality and a consideration of the access to (clean) water from a human rights point of view. Especially the environmental and human rights aspects are reflected in demands for participation of the general public in state decisions on water management. The possibilities and limits of participative instruments are a recurring theme in the contributions, starting with the EU Citizens’ Initiative “Right2Water”, continuing with legal questions about the sale of bottled water, on to the involvement of municipalities in an environmentally friendly and demand-oriented supply of drinking water.