This article is from the Problem Behaviors in Cats FAQ, posted to rec.pets.cats newsgroup. Maintained by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
Some cats like to tip the water dish and empty it all over the kitchen floor. You can try placing it on a small rug. There are large "untippable" (pyramid-shaped) dishes available at the pet store. If the cat then paddles the water out, you may just want to put the dish in the bathtub. Cats should always have a source of fresh water (except for pre-op surgery or prior to a car ride), so removing it while you are not at home is an unsatisfactory solution. If the cat is indoor/outdoor, you may want to put the water dish outside.