For several decades (1987-2015) we have been carrying out observations of water masers in the circumstellar envelopes (CSE’s) of Mira variables, Red Supergiants (RSG’s) and Semi-Regular Variables (SRV’s) with the Medicina 32-m and Effelsberg 100-m antennas. The single-dish monitoring observations provide evidence for strong H2O maser profile variations, which likely are connected to structural changes in the maser shells. Such variations include strong flares in intensity lasting several (tens of) months and systemic velocity gradients of maser components developing over years, as well as other secular variations which are superimposed on periodic variations following the stellar light variations.
When complemented with interferometric observations, it is possible to derive the 3-D distribution of the maser spots, and their lifetime, as we have done for RX Boo (Winnberg et al. 2008) and U Her (Winnberg et al. 2011; Brand et al. in prep.).