Water of high quality is or will become a scarce commodity in many areas. Food production and processing require large amounts of water of varying quality. Water reuse during food production and processing occurs and will likely increase in the future. Wastewater has been used for food production for many years in some locations. Awareness of the close association between water and food-borne disease is growing and thus there is a need to develop rational water use management plans within the food industry that maximize health protection. The food processing industry has long used hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) programmes to make their products safer. There is a trend in water supply to implement similar programmes. This article will focus on water quality and quantity issues in food production and in the factory. For food production, it is important to understand how water demand, sources of pollution, water reuse and contamination of food through water affect food safety.