The spectral properties of humic acids in water have been studied by electron absorption and fluorescence methods. Spectra of humic acids with different degree of humification have been compared. It has been shown that in the process of humification the intensity of absorption first decreased in all spectra and then increased in the region of 220-360 nm. The fluorescence intensity fell down in the process of humification, while the fluorescence region did not change strongly. It has been shown that more efficient photodegradation of humic acids occurred under short-wave irradiation with an excilamp (at 222 nm wavelength).