Baja California’s first utility-scale desalination plant has launched operations, supplying 5.7 million gallons a day of converted seawater to municipal water users in the port of Ensenada.

The reverse-osmosis facility, which has the capacity to double in size, is seen as a critical piece of infrastructure for Ensenada, whose 390,000 residents have been almost entirely dependent on aquifers for their water supply.