Did you know that Antarctica is the driest continent on Earth?
The driest, coldest, most sparsely inhabited continent on our planet has plenty of water – but it’s all frozen.
Strange as it may sound, on the icy continent of Antarctica, water is hard to come by! All water supplies come from melting of ice. At the Norwegian research station Troll in Dronning Maud Land, water is “strip-mined” from nearby ice-fields and transported back to the station, where it is then melted with excess heat from the station’s generators.
In the course of a year, the people at the station use a lot of water for cooking and drinking, but also to wash laundry and dishes, shower, flush the toilet, and to fill the hot tub, whenever it is in use. The average water consumption is about 100 liters per person per day.
In Antarctica, emissions and waste management are governed by the strict regulations set forth in the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1995). The goal is to keep the continent as clean as possible and see to it that all waste is sorted and shipped out of Antarctica. Troll has a highly advanced purification system for sewage and household wastewater which ensures that the water released back to the environment is a pure as possible.