Model Elyse Knowles to join thousands of Australians giving up coffee, alcohol and soft drinks this March

3 min read
Elyse Knowles in Delhi, 2018
Image: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan

Thousands of Australians, including model Elyse Knowles, will be making water their only beverage for the month of March to raise money for WaterAid as part of the Water Challenge.

The annual fundraising event, which has grown every year since its launch in 2016, invites Australians to take a break from coffee, tea, alcohol, juice, soft drinks for 31 days. Funds raised by participants will support WaterAid’s efforts to help everyone, everywhere gain access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

WaterAid ambassador, winner of The Block 2017 and author Elyse Knowles is excited to be taking the challenge again. “It’s an amazing challenge that WaterAid have put together to spread awareness about how important water is,” Knowles says.

“I really like this time of year when the Water Challenge comes up. I drink a lot of water throughout the day and it’s such a part of my life and it keeps me so healthy.”

Knowles recently visited WaterAid’s work in Delhi, India where she met families living in slums with limited access to water, toilets and hygiene facilities. “Visiting the slums really pushed home the fact that fresh water not only changes lives, it improves lives and it save lives,” Knowles says.

Those participating in the challenge will not only be helping to improve the lives of people who don’t have access to clean water, but will also be improving their health.

Nutritionist Shelley McKenzie says that water promotes skin health, enhances exercise performance, detoxifies the body, boosts energy and can help with weight loss. “Those who drink mostly water in their day as opposed to other beverages such as soft drinks, juices and alcohol will have a lower calorie intake by almost 200 calories on average per day,” McKenzie says.

One in nine people worldwide still don’t have access to a clean water source close to home and WaterAid Chief Executive Rosie Wheen hopes the Water Challenge will help more Australians take action on this issue.

“Clean water helps people unlock their potential, break free from poverty and change their lives for good. Being able to access a clean water source means children are less likely to get sick or die from diarrhoeal diseases, and women and girls don’t need to make long, dangerous journeys to collect water,” Wheen says.

The Water Challenge takes place in March to coincide with World Water Day, an official UN day recognised on Friday 22 March. That week, WaterAid will also be holding its annual Walk for Water event, which asks corporate employees to take 10,000 steps a day from 18-22 March.

Registrations for the Water Challenge are open at

Interviews with Elyse Knowles, Shelley McKenzie and Rosie Wheen available upon request.

Images available upon request

Elyse Knowles Water Challenge video link:

Contact: Kevin Hawkins, Communications Manager: (03) 9001 8262 or [email protected]