So how much water is required?

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, the following quantities of water are recommended by life stage and gender1.

Age Total water
(Food and fluids)
(Including plain water, milk and other drinks)
Children & Adolescents:
1-3 yr 1.4 L/day 1.0 L/day (about 4 cups)
4-8 yr 1.6 L/day 1.2 L/day (about 5 cups)
9-13 yr 2.2 L/day 1.6 L/day (about 6 cups)
14-18 yr 2.7 L/day 1.9 L/day (about 7-8 cups)
9-13 yr 1.9 L/day 1.4 L/day (about 5-6 cups)
14-18 yr 2.2 L/day 1.6 L/day (about 6 cups)
19-70+ yr 3.4 L/day 2.6 L/day (about 10 cups)
19-70+ yr 2.8 L/day 2.1 L/day (about 8 cups)

NB: Pregnant and lactating women require additional water.

How much water do we drink?

The Australian Beverages Council Limited [ABCL] commissioned the CSIRO to conduct a secondary analysis of the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (2011-12)2, including beverage consumption levels and patterns, the relationships between beverage intake and nutritional status, lifestyle behaviour and other factors related to health.

The analysis found water was consumed by 92% of children and 86% of adults. The average amount of water consumed by adults on a daily basis was 1300mL and 971mL for children – well below the recommended amount for most age groups.

Did you know that the consumption of water has increased between 1995 and 2011-2012, but still remains well below the recommended amount for most age groups?

1995 2011-12
Children 83-88% * 88-95%
Adults 80% 86%

*Range, as data reported for specific age groups.

1NHMRC. Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand including recommended dietary intakes. Commonwealth of Australia, 2016. Available at

2Australian Beverages Council Ltd. The role of beverages in the Australian diet: a secondary analysis of the Australian health survey: national nutrition and physical activity survey (2011 – 2012). Available here

The Industry

Many consumers across Australia enjoy the convenience of packaged water and water beverages. These drinks play an important part in ensuring we stay healthy and hydrated.

‘Packaged water’ applies to a number of different water products, including spring water, purified water and mineral water. Water typically comes in recyclable PET bottles, but it is also found in other containers, such as glass bottles, boxes (with a bladder), pouches, cartons and cans.

Bottled water

Sparkling (also called carbonated) and still water are great for both refreshment and hydration. There is also a range of flavoured and infused waters, most of which do not contain any sugar. Many consumers prefer the taste of carbonated, infused or flavoured water, and these products are a great, healthy and low or no kilojoule alternative to plain still or sparkling water for thirsty consumers across our region. Some consumers choose packaged water for convenience on-the-go. Packaged water also plays an important role in areas that do not have access to safe water or in the event of a disaster.

Did you know that water is the most commonly consumed drink in Australia?1

Economic Contribution of Bottled Water Retailing:
Source: ACIL Allen Consulting 2015

1IBIS World. Bottled water manufacturing in Australia, February 2019.

Meet the people in the industry

The Australasian Bottled Water Institute [ABWI] is the voice of the bottled and packaged water industry and is an authoritative source of information on all types of bottled water products, production techniques, quality matters, industry trends and consumer issues. Meet the people behind the industry!

Tim Carey

Managing Director, Black Mount Springwater Continue Reading

Dave Raj

Quality Assurance and Technical Manager, 100% Bottling Company Continue Reading

Joe Commisso

Founder & Chairman, Beloka Water Continue Reading

Kerrie-Anne Burbidge

Quality Coordinator, Coca-Cola Amatil Continue Reading

Water Stewardship

The packaged water industry uses groundwater as its main source of high-quality, refreshing water. Groundwater is a natural resource that is replenished through the hydrological cycle.

  • Hydrological cycle
Learn More


ABWI Members strongly support the use of recycled materials in the manufacturing process and convenient recycling programs for consumers and businesses.

Members encourage consumers to ensure water and other beverage containers, and associated packaging, are recycled in kerbside collection bins or via a Container Deposit Scheme [CDS]. Containers used by the industry, including PET bottles, glass bottles, cans and cartons, are easy to recycle through kerbside recycling and CDS (in participating state/territory of purchase) across Australia.

Learn More



Packaged water must adhere to the requirements of Standard 2.6.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in order to be sold in Australia. Standard 2.6.2 relates to non-alcoholic beverages and brewed soft drinks, and includes regulation of bottled and packaged water.

The Standard sets out a clear definition of packaged water, and details composition of packaged water (including fluoride levels) and labelling requirements for the category.

Manufacturers and bottlers are required to adhere to the requirements of the standard and are not permitted to add anything extra unless stated and only to certain levels.

ABWI Model Code

In addition to the provisions under Standard 2.6.2, Members of the Australasian Bottle Water Institute [ABWI] must also adhere to the ABWI Model Code1.

Under the ABWI Model Code, water must comply with strict guidelines related to quality, safety and environmental sustainability. Water is required to be tested at both the source and at regular intervals during processing and bottling. Additionally, water source owners must also maintain ABWI accreditation by submitting reports and annual audits.

1ABCL. 2018. ABWI Model Code for production of bottled water. Accessed 12.6.2019

About ABWI

The Australasian Bottled Water Institute [ABWI] is the voice of the bottled and packaged water industry and is an authoritative source of information on all types of bottled water products, production techniques, quality matters, industry trends and consumer issues.

It is also the peak industry association and certification body for bottled water standards covering both bottlers and suppliers in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Members produce a broad range of water types for the entire water market including mineralised, glacier, rainwater, spring, purified, packaged and table water.

About the ABCL

The Australian Beverages Council [ABCL] is the peak body representing the collective interests of the non-alcoholic beverages industry. We strive to advance the industry as a whole, as well as successfully represent the range of beverages produced by our Members.

These include carbonated regular and diet soft drinks, energy drinks, sports and isotonic drinks, bottled and packaged waters, fruit juice and fruit drinks, cordials, iced teas, ready-to-drink coffees, flavoured milk and flavoured plant milk.

The unified voice of the ABCL offers our members a presence beyond individual representation in order to promote fairness in the standards, regulations, and policies concerning non-alcoholic beverages.

Membership & Contact

To become a Member of ABCL or for further information related to the bottled and packaged water industry or any other non-alcoholic beverage category, please visit, telephone +61 2 9698 1122 email