History of water management at Australia's Antarctic stations

A tripod frame sits over an icy hole.
Melt bell suspended over new melt hole (Photo: Ewan Curtis)
Pipes and equipment in a plant room.Historical image from 1973 of Davis Station Expeditioners loading snow into melter for use as drinking water

Antarctica is the driest continent on the planet, and the provision of fresh water has remained a constant challenge for expeditioners since the formation of ANARE in 1947.

Each station obtains its water supply through different means, ranging from reverse osmosis to melting blue ice, pumping from glacier streams and melt lakes.