Purpose: Accurate and fast 1 H MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) water reference scans are important for absolute quantification of metabolites. However, the additional acquisition time required often precludes the water reference quantitation method for MRSI studies. Sensitivity encoding (SENSE) is a successful MR technique developed to reduce scan time. This study quantitatively assesses the accuracy of SENSE for water reference MRSI data acquisition, compared with the more commonly used reduced resolution technique. Methods: 2D MRSI water reference data were collected from a phantom and three volunteers at 3 Tesla for full acquisition (306 s); 2× reduced resolution (64 s) and SENSE R = 3 (56 s) scans. Water amplitudes were extracted using MRS quantitation software (TARQUIN). Intensity maps and Bland-Altman statistics were generated to assess the accuracy of the fast-MRSI techniques. Results: The average mean and standard deviation of differences from the full acquisition were 2.1 ± 3.2% for SENSE and 10.3 ± 10.7% for the reduced resolution technique, demonstrating that SENSE acquisition is approximately three times more accurate than the reduced resolution technique. Conclusion: SENSE was shown to accurately reconstruct water reference data for the purposes of in vivo absolute metabolite quantification, offering significant improvement over the more commonly used reduced resolution technique. Magn Reson Med, 2014.