March 26, 2014

Mapping the area watersheds

By Chris Erickson

Mapping out the West River watersheds could provide valuable information on future flooding. Last week Mercer County Commissioners heard exactly how and why.
David Holm, vice president of Fugro Horizons, and Greg Lange, representing the Mercer County Water Resource Board, spoke to the commission on a tool that uses light in a similar way to how radar utilizes sound. The tool, appropriately, is called LiDAR. According to Holm, the Light Detection and Ranging system was attached to airplanes that, when flying over any given area, would be able to provide updated topographical information about that area.
Holm has provided the LiDAR mapping services throughout the eastern portion of the state in the past few years. According to Lange, the water board has been interested in utilizing the service in order to obtain updated topographic information for the area.
“This information is great to have,” Lange said. “Water runs down hill so it’s nice to see where exactly the hills and valleys are. This maps them very tightly, much better than a topo map. We thought we would get into it last fall, but couldn’t. It does look like we’ve got a chance to do it this year.”


The Weather Network