Not all US consumers are drinking the recommended daily amounts of water, according to a new nationwide survey released by International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).

The survey of 1,002 US adults found that although 63% of consumers were aware that health experts recommend drinking eight 8-ounce servings of water every day, the average daily consumption is 5.3 cups per day.

Stephen R. Kay, IBWA VP communications, commented: "The survey findings show high consumer awareness of how much water they should drink, but also reveal that they need to translate this awareness into actual consumption."

The IBWA survey does show that water is a major part of a person's daily drinking pattern. According to the data, the combination of unfiltered or filtered water and bottled water consumed each day constitutes 40% of reported daily drink consumption.

The survey also shows that 46% of Americans drink bottled water daily, consuming an average 1.7 eight-ounce servings.

The survey ranked bottled water as the third most consumed beverage based on average daily consumption, just behind filtered/non-filtered water (3.6 servings per day) and coffee (1.8 servings per day). The respondents were asked how much of 11 drink choices they consumed on a daily basis. The survey reported the following average daily consumption (8 oz. servings): filtered or non-filtered water (3.6), coffee (1.8), bottled water (1.7), caffeinated soft drinks (1.3); milk (1.2); juice (1.1); tea (.9); non-caffeinated soft drinks (.6); alcohol (.5); new age beverages (.4); sports drinks (.2).

Data from Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) shows that bottled water continues to climb the annual per capita consumption rankings of beverage categories, surpassing fruit juice and gaining quickly on beer. Americans consumed 5.03 billion gallons of bottled water in 2000, up 125% from the 2.2 gallons consumed in 1990. Annual per capita consumption of bottled water now stands at 18.3 gallons, up from 12.1 gallons in 1995. If current projections hold true, in 2004 bottled water will become the second-most consumed beverage, surpassing beer, coffee and milk (measure does not include public water).