LATHAM, N.Y. — The Carlsbad Desalination Project will be the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere when it is finished in 2016.

IDE Americas is the plant's designer and will operate it for 30 years when it is ready to begin supplying 50 million gallons of drinking water per day to the San Diego County Water Authority and its more than 28 member agencies.

Water Technology caught up with IDE CEO Mark Lambert as the project completed its first year of construction early this year to find out how the project goals have been met thus far and what the completed plant will mean for the state of California, currently facing a prolonged drought, and its residents, when it is completed.

"Currently the plant is ahead of schedule on the construction timetable, and the partners…feel that we will complete ahead of schedule. It's a very clean construction site. Safety is a priority there and to date we've had zero incidents or accidents associated with the plant site. And from that perspective it's met all of the goals that we've set out up front," said Lambert.

"We get asked a lot, can we move quicker, can this plant be up and running sooner rather than later," added Lambert of the drought's impact in California.

Hear the rest of our conversation with LaVance on our podcast page, here: https://www.watertechonline.com/podcasts