Abstract A year-long longitudinal study was undertaken to evaluate the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. in drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and freshwater bathing beaches (FBBs) from the central area of Spain. Water samples were collected according to USEPA Method 1623, and concentrated by the IDEXX Filta-Max® system. Cryptosporidium species were detected based on PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analyses of the ssuRNA gene. C. hominis and/or C. parvum isolates were subtyped by DNA sequencing of the Gp60 gene. Among 150 samples, 23 (15.3%) were positive by IFAT and 40 (26.7%) by PCR. Cryptosporidium spp. was more frequent in WWTPs (26.2 and 50.8%) and FBBs (12.5 and 17.5%) by IFAT and PCR respectively. Effluent waters from DWTPs were negative for this parasite suggesting that they are suitable for public use. Tertiary treatment in the WWTPs demonstrated a high removal efficiency of Cryptosporidium in the samples evaluated. Cryptosporidium species identified included C. hominis, C. parvum, C. ubiquitum, C. andersoni and C. muris. Subtyping analysis revealed C. hominis IbA10G2 and IeA11G3T3 alleles, which is the first report of the latter in water samples. Cryptosporidium highest frequency was observed in winter and spring. Our data provide information about the occurrence and diversity of Cryptosporidium in water of human use from the central area of Spain.