No. 1 challenge: Water, waste-waster, stormwater.

Why: Material and supply costs; keeping up with the needs of a growing population.

Helpful hint: “We're monitoring peak electric demands to minimize demand charges on our electric bill along with reducing horsepower and/or run time on all electric motors. This involves some manual operation and monitoring of systems to maximize energy savings.” — Jerry Jacobson, operations manager, Academy Water & Sanitation District, Colorado Springs, Colo.

IN THE MIDWEST

Budget trend: Fourth-largest increase in operations; last in capital expenditures.

Demographic trend: Only Missouri and Wisconsin have gained population since 1990.

No. 1 challenge: Water, waste-waster, stormwater.

Why: Material and supply costs; board and residents expect more done with less.

Helpful hint: “When we build new two-lane roads, we offset left or right of the center line with as much grading as possible to add the second set of lanes in the future. We call this our ‘Rural to Urban Transition Streets' program. The idea is for the county to incur additional costs the first time the road is graded and paved so we can use their paving for a longer period of time as we expand for capacity reasons—not because the pavement has worn out.” — Tom Shafer, design/ construction section manager, Lincoln, Neb.

IN THE SOUTHEAST

Budget trend: Third-largest increase in both operations and capital budgets.

Demographic trend: Thanks to Florida (and despite continuing population loss in Louisiana), this remains the fastest-growing region of the country.