The thirstiest city in the driest state sees a big future as a hub of water innovation. It sits covertly in a sandy patch of shrub, an octagonal fiberglass box on the gaudiest avenue in America. Inside is a fist-size hydrophone, one of 13 acoustic devices that listen continuously for the minutest of leaks along a miles-long pipeline that daily spits out 7.5 million gallons of water to hotels and casinos along the Las Vegas strip.

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