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Put your district in the spotlight!

Throughout this year, we’ve been collecting great examples of how special districts are using advanced technologies to address real-world challenges. We’re showcasing these ideas on the Special Districts Program website - and we’ll recognize the top 10 submissions this fall as our 2022 Innovation Award Winners and name one overall District of the Year.

It’s a great opportunity to highlight your district’s success and share ideas with our special districts community. There’s still time to get in the running for a 2022 award, but the deadline is approaching fast. Send us your submission – it’s easy! – by Sept. 20 for consideration.

Modernizing Maintenance
Check out how the Albemarle County Service Authority (ACSA) in Virginia is modernizing the way it maintains 350 miles of water mains and nearly 300 miles of sewer mains. In one of our latest award submissions, ACSA describes how it replaced three outdated software tools with a new maintenance management platform to handle inspections, service requests, work orders and other tasks.

Read the full story here, and submit your own innovation here.

Save the Date
The Special Districts Fall Virtual Summit is scheduled for Sept. 21. We’re assembling a panel of special district leaders and industry experts to tackle critical challenges such as meeting new user expectations, building your workforce of the future and modernizing important technology infrastructure. Look for more details coming soon. You won’t want to miss it!

Understanding Cyber Insurance
Public sector organizations across the nation are struggling with rising cyber insurance costs and shrinking coverage. Earlier this year, Christopher Keegan, an executive at one of the nation’s largest commercial insurance brokers, spoke to members of the Special Districts Advisory Board about this important issue. Keegan said the spiking number of cyber insurance claims, driven largely by ransomware incidents, is prompting insurers to raise premiums, set new coverage limits and demand that organizations implement key security controls before they’ll issue policies.

Now, a new report from the Government Finance Officers Association and the Center for Digital Government offers extensive guidance on how local governments can weigh the costs and benefits of cyber insurance coverage. Download the report – Cyber Risk Savvy: How to be a Smart Customer of Cyber Insurance – here.

District Spotlight: An Infrastructure “Experience”
Culver City, California, and the West Basin Municipal Water District will use augmented reality to educate residents about a $20 million project to store and treat stormwater in a new underground reservoir. The project will improve water sustainability for city residents and protect water quality in nearby Santa Monica Bay – but most of the action will occur underground.

To give residents a better idea of what’s going on beneath their feet, the project will include “interpretive signage” that explains the purpose of the project through an interactive, virtual experience, according to the city. Six different augmented reality “experiences” will help residents visualize the massive initiative, as well as other aspects of the city’s history.

Read more here.