Aims. "Water In Star-forming regions with Herschel" (WISH) is a Herschel key programme aimed at understanding the physical and chemical structure of young stellar objects (YSOs) with a focus on water and related species. Methods. The low-mass protostar HH 46 was observed with the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) on the Herschel Space Observatory to measure emission in H2O, CO, OH, [O i], and [C ii] lines located between 63 and 186 Î¼m. The excitation and spatial distribution of emission can disentangle the different heating mechanisms of YSOs, with better spatial resolution and sensitivity than previously possible. Results. Far-IR line emission is detected at the position of the protostar and along the outflow axis. The OH emission is concentrated at the central position, CO emission is bright at the central position and along the outflow, and H 2O emission is concentrated in the outflow. In addition, [O i] emission is seen in low-velocity gas, assumed to be related to the envelope, and is also seen shifted up to 170 km s-1 in both the red- and blue-shifted jets. Envelope models are constructed based on previous observational constraints. They indicate that passive heating of a spherical envelope by the protostellar luminosity cannot explain the high-excitation molecular gas detected with PACS, including CO lines with upper levels at >2500 K above the ground state. Instead, warm CO and H2O emission is probably produced in the walls of an outflow-carved cavity in the envelope, which are heated by UV photons and non-dissociative C-type shocks. The bright OH and [O i] emission is attributed to J-type shocks in dense gas close to the protostar. In the scenario described here, the combined cooling by far-IR lines within the central spatial pixel is estimated to be 2 Ã— 10-2 LÈ¯, with 60-80% attributed to J- and C-type shocks produced by interactions between the jet and the envelope. Â© 2010 ESO.