LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Southern Nevada Water Authority is using a combination of aerial photography and laser mapping to track water usage in the Las Vegas area.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the laser mapping is useful for making detailed maps that include elevation. The region’s wholesale water supplier uses the imagery to see what is growing in the area and how much water the plants might need, then determine where and how pipelines, pumps and reservoirs should be built.

The water authority is also using the technology to aid conservation efforts by identifying areas that would be ideal targets for the Water Smart Landscapes Program, which pays people to rip out grass and replace it with desert plants.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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