Water resources contamination has a worldwide impact and is a cause of global concern. The need for provision of clean water is becoming more and more demanding. Nanotechnology may support effective strategies for the treatment, use and reuse of water and the development of next-generation water supply systems. The excellent properties and effectiveness of nanomaterials make them particularly suitable for water/wastewater treatment. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the main categories of nanomaterials used in catalytic processes (carbon nanotubes/graphitic carbon nitride (CNT/g-C 3N 4) composites/graphene-based composites, metal oxides and composites, metal–organic framework and commercially available nanomaterials). These materials have found application in the removal of different categories of pollutants, including pharmaceutically active compounds, personal care products, organic micropollutants, as well as for the disinfection of bacterial, viral and protozoa microbial targets, in water and wastewater matrices. Apart from reviewing the characteristics and efficacy of the aforementioned nanoengineered materials for the removal of different pollutants, we have also recorded performance limitations issues (e.g., toxicity, operating conditions and reuse) for their practical application in water and wastewater treatment on large scale. Research efforts and continuous production are expected to support the development of eco-friendly, economic and efficient nanomaterials for real life applications in the near future.