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EARLY WATER SUPPLIES

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    Gnamma hole (rock-hole), 1894

A black-and-white sketch in two parts illustrating a natural phenomenon that the earliest gold prospectors relied upon for water in WA’s arid interior.

  Sketch of a well, 1894

Shows the ‘workings’ of a well and significantly appeared in the first annual report of the Western Australian Department of Mines in 1894.

    Water rations for gold miners, 1894

The price of water was such on WA’s arid eastern goldfields that mine workers received an allocation of water as part of their wages.

    Buying water at Dunnville, c1894

This epitomises the water shortages on the goldfields with a group queuing to buy water from a store at a remote gold prospecting camp.

    No 2 or Bennett's Tank, Coolgardie, 1895

The WA government built such freestanding dams in a futile attempt to supply freshwater for the arid eastern goldfields.

  Government Well, c1895 

The WA Government undertook a program of building works, including wells, in an attempt to supply water to the arid eastern goldfields.

    Black Flag condenser, c1895

Condensing plants to supply water were one of the first “industries” to be established at the site of a new rush on WA’s arid goldfields.

    Western Australia Condenser Company, c1895

With saltwater more common than freshwater on WA’s arid goldfields, condensing machines were patented to turn saline water into potable water.

  Innes and Mills condenser, Coolgardie, late 1890s

Entrepreneurs established condensing plants to distil salt water into water suitable for drinking to sell at a profit on WA’s arid goldfields.

  Condenser, c1900

Unusual because a woman, in the minority on WA’s arid goldfields, is among those alongside a condenser to convert saline into potable water.

  Mammoth government condenser at Coolgardie, 1902

A government undertaking of mammoth proportions to convert saline water to freshwater, in particular to replenish steam trains on the arid goldfields.

    Camel drinking from a gnamma, 1909

A prospector’s camel drinking from a naturally occurring rockhole, depleting and possibly polluting an important source of precious water for animals and people in WA’s arid interior.

  Flume at Karalee Rocks, 2002

Runoff from large granite outcrops was captured to supply freshwater on WA’s arid eastern goldfields, at this one by an unusual steel flume.

  Granite outcrop at Kellerberrin, 2002

Runoff from large granite outcrops was captured to supply freshwater on WA’s arid eastern goldfields by building low walls at the base.