Why should municipalities enter The Aurora International Taste Challenge?

Many members of the public are under the ill-informed impression that “water is water.” If your municipality works hard to ensure water of the highest possible quality, you will want the world to know about it. Our judges scrupulously assess all contestants’ water to find and honour the freshest, purest and best tasting water. Winning an award in The Aurora International Taste Challenge is an honour and privilege, instantly setting you apart from other municipalities.

You will also gain media attention and “bragging rights” both locally and nationwide. The public will be able to recognise your incredible hard work and dedication. In a world where water is considered a “generic” product, we are proud to award those that distinguish their water through hard work and attention to detail.

Excellent tasting water will be awarded three, four, or five-star awards. Winning parties will further be invited to display their award artwork in email signatures, and online and in print media, for one year from the time the award is announced – provided the water quality remains the same as that of the original sample for the 12-month period. The ability to display the award artwork is subject to the terms outlined in a non-exclusive licese agreement to be signed by both parties.

Trophy awards will be awarded to the very best municipalities. Winners will also receive an electronic certificate via email, accompanied by the non-exclusive license agreement. This must be signed by both parties, allowing the winner to take advantage of the media kit, logos, and award artwork. No physical trophies or awards are granted.

This is what the award artwork looks like:


We are proud to be partnering with the following companies to make the 2020 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success.

About The Aurora International Taste Challenge

The Aurora International Taste Challenge was established to recognise and honour superior food products, and among them high quality municipal water. Our goal is to award product excellence while giving consumers the confidence to trust the best producers. This year we will be awarding municipal and bottled water. The challenge was conceived to set new standards for food and water quality, through assessment by chefs, sommeliers and other food industry professionals.

In addition to the many food products awarded in the annual The Aurora International Taste Challenge, this year’s contest will also be awarding municipalities that supply superior water to their residents. If you believe your water quality sets you apart, we invite you to partake in the challenge. Providing great tasting  pure, fresh water that adheres to the highest national and international standards is a painstaking task that’s often underappreciated. That’s why our goal is to honour municipalities with superior water, and award these high-achieving institutions accordingly.

In a world where water is considered a “generic” product, we are proud to award those that distinguish their water through hard work and attention to detail.

Municipal water competition information

How will judging work?

All municipal water will be judged by chefs, sommeliers and food industry professionals. Following meticulous assessment, the best waters will be awarded.

Who will be judging the competition?

All water will be judged by chefs, sommeliers and other food industry professionals. All judges possess deep-seated knowledge regarding the factors that contribute towards water taste and quality.

How much does it cost to enter?

The early bird special is R950 excluding VAT per entry, normal entry R1200 excluding VAT per entry, and late entry is R1440 excluding VAT per entry. The winning municipalities will be provided with a non-exclusive licence to display their award artwork for one year for the purpose of advertising, in articles, and for use on websites, all digital media and in email signatures.

What makes some water better than others?

While taste is the main differentiating criterion, “mouthfeel” and clarity are of equal importance. Smell also comes into play, whereby the water’s odour should be neutral and free from undesirable aromas. Ultimately, the water should quench thirst and be refreshing.

Entry fees and dates
  • 17 March 2020 – Entries open and Early bird special of R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) per entry.
  • 2 July 2020 – Normal entry fee of R1200 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) after this date.
  • 21 July 2020 – Late entries can be submitted for R1440 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) after this date.
  • 28 July 2020 – Entries close.
Other important information:
  • Each entry requires  3 x containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 1500ml.
  • One entry = one product. A single product may not be entered twice. Products from varying sources must be entered separately.

Use of award artwork illustrated with mock-up examples

Municipalities can use the supplied artwork and media kit in email signatures, and in various digital and print media to showcase their superior water quality.

Timeline for the 2020 Competition

Early Bird Special Entry Fee
of R950 excl VAT applies

Early Bird Special Entry Fee
of R950 excl VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) applies

Normal Entry Fee applies
2 July 2020

Normal Entry Fee of
R1200 excl VAT
(approximately USD96 or EUR84) applies

Late entry fee
21 July 2020

Late Fee is R1440 Excl VAT
(approximately USD115 or EUR101)

Entries Close
28 July 2020

Delivery of samples
3rd and 4th of August 2020

Results released
11th August 2020

Contacts and delivery of samples

Entries should be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on August 3rd and 4th, 2020(Monday and Tuesday),  at Conference Centre at Joostenberg Deli, Koelenhof Road, Stellenbosch. Late entries might not be accepted.

Attention: Celia Gilloway / Tel: 082 782 1977 / Email: celia@eventsbycelia.com

You can make use of any courier, but we have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

For additional information contact Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com. This competition is run and managed by the Awards Show (Pty) Ltd.

Rules particular to municipal water

Rules for Municipal Water

  • Municipal water from South Africa must comply with the Water Services Act (WSA, Act No. 108 of 1997) and the National Water Act (NWA, Act No. 36 of 1998) (South Africa, 1997; 1998b), and be Blue drop certified. Water must also comply with the national standard that limits the associated risks for domestic water as determined by the South African National Standard (SANS) 241:2015.
  • Every product must comply with laws and regulations that apply to its country of origin.
  • By entering the competition each entrant declares that each product entered is representative of the product available to households of that particular area.
  • Samples may not be older than a week by the time they are received.
  • Samples must bear all the information needed for the entry, and this must be clearly legible on a sticker.
  • Award certificates will be emailed to the winners, together with a media kit containing all the artwork needed to advertise the achievement. The use of this award artwork for one year is subject to the signing of a non-exclusive licesce agreement by both parties, and the adherence to the stipulations of this agreement.
  • The Aurora International Taste Challenge can, but is not obligated to, ask for a new sample from the original source, or ask for the water to be sampled at source accompanied by an auditing firm representative, or similar person, to determine the authenticity, and representativeness of the original sample. This can be done any time, within a year from the time that the results are released.
  • If at any time a too low water table, contamination of any kind, or similar situations occur as to change the water quality to such an extent that the water is no longer similar to the water that won an award, the award is rescinded, and may not be advertised or shown in any way in conjunction with the product that won, as the water quality is not the same as that was entered. The moment a municipality or waterworks becomes aware of circumstances that will change the taste or quality of the water, The Aurora International Taste Challenge must be notified by email within 48 hours, and the use of the award artwork in any format must be halted immediately.
  • Each entry only requires a minimum of 3 x containers for samples, with a minimum combined volume of 1,500ml, plus a paid entry fee of R3950 plus VAT.

Rules for water in general

  • The person entering the competition on behalf of the institution will be held legally responsible for the legal authenticity of the sample.
  • Entries may be screened to ensure they are entered in the correct category, or to do a first tier evaluation. The Aurora International Taste Challenge reserves the right to change the category a product is entered for, or to create categories it deems necessary, without notification.