Agricultural water may contact fresh produce during irrigation and/or when crop protection sprays (e.g., cooling to prevent sunburn, frost protection, and agrochemical mixtures) are applied. This document provides a framework for designing research studies that would add to our understanding of preharvest microbial food safety hazards and control measures pertaining to agricultural water. Researchers will be able to use this document to design studies, to anticipate the scope and detail of data required, and to evaluate previously published work. This document should also be useful for evaluating the strength of existing data and thus should aid in identifying future research needs. Use of this document by the research community may lead to greater consistency or comparability than currently exists among research studies, which may ultimately facilitate direct comparison of hazards and efficacy of controls among different commodities, conditions, and practices.