Aim. The resource potential of underground water in the Russian Federation is assessed and the most important problems of its use in modern conditions are analyzed, taking into account the trends of natural and climatic changes. Methodology. An analysis is made of the published materials, as well as of statistical and regulatory sources on various aspects of underground water use. Results. The state of the mineral resource base of underground water in Russia is considered in the context of its accounting and potential use. The main genetic types of underground water deposits are indicated in relation to different types of natural regions. The role of federal districts and subjects of the Russian Federation in the provision of underground water resources is analyzed. The environmental risks arising from the conservation of mineral deposits are discussed. Research implications. The results of the analysis can be used to improve the efficiency of information support for state policy in the field of water use in the Russian Federation. The main problems of underground water use are outlined from the standpoint of their legal regulation, and measures are proposed to manage the current situation. The necessity of modernizing Russian legislation in the field of water use regulation is substantiated.