How does the Water Challenge work?

This winter, we're challenging WaterAid supporters to make water their only beverage for 30 days. 

There’s only really one rule when it comes to the Water Challenge. That’s to make water your only beverage for 30 days. Sounds simple enough, right?

That means replacing your morning coffee, your after-work beer and any soda or juices with nothing but water. 

But there are a few grey areas when it comes to the Water Challenge, and we’re here to clean them up for you.

Days off

Have you got a wedding, party, or birthday scheduled in the middle of your Water Challenge schedule? Maybe you've a bad week and want to take a break. 

There’s a few ways to go about this. The first is to use these moments to your advantage – your friends might be shocked to find you drinking nothing but water when there’s an open bar tab, but it’s a great way to get the conversation started about the challenge you’re taking. And a perfect opportunity to raise awareness or earn a few donations!

If you simply can’t resist having a non-water beverage one day, we’ll give you permission to put your challenge on pause. But it comes at a cost – to get that break, you or a friend must purchase a Raise a Glass Pass. $12 for a half day, $24 for a full one. Sound fair?

How do you define water?

Water is more versatile than you think. In addition to tap water, there’s spring water, hot water, ice water, mineral water, sparkling water, and soda water. All these variations are permitted!

It’s up to you where you want to draw the line, but our view is that flavored water is only allowed if you’re adding natural fresh fruits, spices or herbs to your drink. 

To make the challenge fair, we’d advise you to keep your fruit concoctions out of the blender and not to add processed ingredients to your drinks, such as syrups, tea bags, or coffee beans. If your drink resembles juice more than it does water, it probably doesn’t make the cut.

Is it a meal or a drink?

We don’t always consume fluids in a glass – sometimes they’re in a bowl. What are the rules for the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl, or the soup that precedes dinner?

The best question to ask yourself is: is it a meal or a drink? As long as you’re not overfilling your breakfast bowl with half a quart of milk, or replacing your daily tea with daily cups of chicken soup, we’re happy for you to continue your regular dietary habits.

This is good news for your body when it comes to fruits. While you can't have that orange juice you’re craving, there’s nothing stopping you from eating a fresh orange.

Can I nibble on coffee beans?

It’s a weird habit, but if that’s what you need to keep alert, we’re not going to stop you! The same goes with sprinkling instant coffee on your ice cream, if you’re desperately craving.

When do I start?

You can start and end your challenge on whatever day you like. The challenge will run from January through March, and your 30 days start whenever you decide. Ready to jump in? Just visit this page to get started.

The spirit of the campaign

At the end of the day, the most important thing about the Water Challenge is that you’re undertaking it in good spirits (not the top-shelf kind). You’re making a sacrifice and raising funds and awareness for the 785 million people who still lack access to clean water. We wish you good health and good luck!