We have examined enzymes in nearly anhydrous organic solvents spanning a wide range of dielectric constants using a combination of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, molecular dynamics simulations, high–pressure kinetic studies and the electrostatic model of Kirkwood. This approach enabled us to investigate the relationship between catalytic activity, protein flexibility and solvent polarity for an enzymatic reaction proceeding through a highly polar transition state in the near absence of water. Further insights into water–protein interactions and the involvement of water in enzyme structure and function have been obtained by EPR and multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance studies of enzymes suspended and immobilized in organic solvents with and without added water. In these systems, correlations were observed between the water content and enzyme activity, flexibility, and active–site polarity, although the structural properties of suspended and immobilized enzymes differed markedly. These results have helped to elucidate the role of water in molecular events at the enzymic active site leading to improved biocatalysis in low–water environments.