In order to study the mechanics and acoustic emission (AE) characteristics of fractured rock under water-rock interaction, dried and saturated sandstone samples with prefabricated double parallel cracks were prepared. Then, uniaxial compression experiments were performed to obtain their AE signals and crack propagation images. The results show that water reduces the strength and fracture toughness of fractured sandstone and enhances plasticity. After saturation, the samples start to crack earlier; the cracks grow slowly; the failure mode is transformed from shear failure along the prefabricated cracks to combined shear and tensile failure; more secondary cracks are produced. The saturated samples release less elastic energy and weaker AE signals in the whole failure process. However, their AE precursor information is more obvious and advanced, and their AE sources are more widely distributed. Compared with dry specimens, the AE frequencies of saturated specimens in the early stage of loading are distributed in a lower frequency domain. Besides, the saturated samples release less complex AE signals which are dominated by small-scale signals with weaker multi-fractal characteristics. After discussion and analysis, it is pointed out that this may be because water makes rock prone to inter-granular fracture rather than trans-granular fracture. The water lubrication also may reduce the amplitude of middle-frequency band signals produced by the friction on the fracture surface. Multi-fractal parameters can provide more abundant precursory information for rock fracture. This is of great significance to the stability of water-bearing fractured rock mass and its monitoring, and is conducive to the safe exploitation of deep energy.