Due to changing social, economic, legally and institutional framework conditions, public infrastructures like drinking water supply and waste water disposal are subject to constant change. The development of this sector is progressing differently in spite of homogeneous secondary legislation, and different systems have been formed. In view of the above, it is necessary to determine the framework conditions to assess the current situation. The first part of this thesis covers the theoretical framework around the water supply and waste water disposal, by showing the current supply situation, ecological aspects, development of management models, influences on the water price and legal aspects. The second part of this thesis includes the current situation of said frameworks in the countries Austria, France and Portugal. The focus is on the general principles of the water supply and waste water disposal, legal aspects, management models and financial aspects. In the last part of this thesis, selected indicators are compared and comparatively interpreted to describe the current situation in the countries in an economical and spatial way.