Getting freshwater in Antarctica is difficult and time consuming. Each station obtains fresh water by different means.

In earlier days, snow and ice was shovelled into large tanks and heated to melt into water. Today, Casey and Mawson pump water from a melt lake behind the station and store it in a heated tank house.

Davis draws water from a local tarn which is processed by a Reverse Osmosis System. This system produces about 70,000 litres every 24 hours. The average station demand is around 10,000–14,000 litres a day. We store 1.4 million litres for use over winter.

Macquarie Island draws water from a dam located on the plateau. The dam is about 3 km from the station and is 200 metres above sea level. The water is pumped into two holding tanks.

Water saving appliances are installed wherever possible, but each person on station is asked to use as little water as possible.

Expeditioners are limited to 3 minute showers. When water supplies are short, expeditioners are asked to only shower every second or third day. Other water saving measures are also taken, such as doing one large load of washing rather than several smaller loads, and turning off the taps while cleaning your teeth.