The Australian and Belgian Antarctic research stations use local resources for their respective water supplies.
Australia operates a number of stations. In the past, snow was melted but currently local melt water is processed and used. However, the Australian base, Casey, also melts ice and the Mawson base also melts snow.
Getting freshwater in Antarctica is quite difficult and time consuming. The exact method used varies between stations. In earlier days, snow and ice was shovelled into large tanks and heated to form 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 which produces about 18,000 litres each 24 hours. The average station demand is around 10,000 – 14,000 litres a day. Macquarie Island draws water from a dam located about three kilometres from the station on the plateau and 200 metres above sea level. The water is pumped to 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 three minute showers and, when water supplies are short, to only shower every second or third day. Other water saving measures are also followed, such as doing one large load of washing rather than several smaller loads, and turning off the taps while cleaning your teeth.
The Belgian, Princess Elisabeth base, melts snow to obtain water. The Belgians, as do bases from other countries, also use renewable sources of energy, namely, wind and solar, via wind generators and solar panels. The Australian base at Mawson has two wind generators that supply 95 percent of the stations energy requirements
The US base at Mc Murdo, operated a nuclear reactor for electricity generation, for 10 years, until 1972. It produce over 78 MWh or electricity and 13 million gallons (49.21 ML) of fresh water.
Diesel generators still produce much of the electricity used at Antarctic stations.
The French base, Dumont d'Urville, obtains fresh water by desalinating sea water.
Food is delivered to all the stations from outside because the Antarctic Treaty, bans the eating of anything originating from the continent. This prevents fishing and eating seals or penguins, or any other fauna or flora.
Waste water from bases is treated before being discharged.
The mining of minerals and the exploitation of oil and gas from Antarctica is still banned.