|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
It's pretty simple, actually. Salt water gets pumped in from the lake to the boilers, the salt gets boiled out of the water, the steam condenses in those contraptions there, and the fresh water collects in the vat.”— Jake Caulwell
The desalination plant is the largest and oldest building in town. It's loud, hot, and noisy inside when the plant is in operation during the day. Large pipes run around everywhere on the inside, and on the eastern exterior wall is a filling station where the water caravans fill up their barrels.
In 2253 it is being run by Jake Caulwell. He also keeps an eye on the convicts doing all the labor.