IGF 2021 WS #213
Adjust the data stream to preserve the flow of water

Organizer 1: Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Organizer 2: Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Organizer 3: Private Sector, Eastern European Group

Speaker 1: Maureen Mwaniki, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: Xu Tang, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: David Morris, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Increasing awareness and proactiveness among policymakers and developers: How do we ensure that technology developers, digital corporations, policy makers and policy processes consistently consider the impact of the Internet and digitalisation on sustainability and climate change?
Reducing impact: How can we achieve a net zero impact on climate change of the further expansions of the Internet and its infrastructure? How can Internet standards, governance and policy choices, and standards for device design, development and manufacture, contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of the Internet (e.g. through the adoption of green computing, energy efficient servers and machines/processes, and by policy contributions)? How can we further use digital technologies to better predict and manage the impacts of climate change?

Through the selected Policy Questions and proposed panelists we intend to show what environmental challenges, especially related to water management, the world is facing globally today. We also want to answer the question how the development of technology can contribute to the struggle for access to water in the future and what, as a global society, we can do to facilitate the development of these technologies.


2. Zero Hunger
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land

Targets: The discussion focused on technologies to save or restore water resources, including agriculture or animal husbandry (2), is intended to ensure that enough attention is paid to solutions for positive climate change (13) as well as ensuring access to drinking water in the future (6). The use of technology in caring for water resources will thus contribute to a positive impact on both the terrestrial (15) and aquatic environment (14).


Researchers give 75 to 95% chances that in the next 50 to 100 years disturbing picture of a future where people are fighting over access to water will come true. These post-apocalyptic-sounding "water wars" could rise as a result of climate change and population growth and could become real soon enough if we do not take steps to prevent them.

But what if by supporting the implementation of newest ICT technologies, AI and IoT we can prevent it, through reshaping models of farming and agriculture, among other and redirecting exact amount of water to exactly where it should go?

The IT revolution, including AI, 5G technology and IoT, have a potential for environmental protection and reduction of adverse effects derived from the global economic development. As digitalization continues to advance rapidly, ICT infrastructure is becoming smarter and can offer faster and smoother connectivity, that can manage many of our resources – including water, any through that minimize the negative environmental impacts of human activity on our planet.

Solutions based on AI, 5G and IoT give us also a chance to prevent the extinction of animal and plant species, monitor the state of the natural environment and factors affecting its degradation. Promoting technological development for environmental and planetary purposes should be a shared goal to ensure a better life for future generations. The main idea is to develop and use technology in such a way as to minimize the harmful effects of economic development on the planet and make it even greener.

With the use of AI, 5G and IoT, we have the opportunity to build intelligent, energy- and what is even more important water-saving and ecological cities, friendly to people and various species of animals and plants. These types of solutions allow the dynamic development while respecting the natural environment and promoting the idea of sustainable development. The purpose of the session is to debate around the topics of emerging technologies and tools that will ensure a better future for the Planet Earth by saving natural resources.

Expected Outcomes

The topic of the session aims at encouraging the active participation of all stakeholders: governments, the private sector and civil society in the process of developing technology aimed at protecting the natural environment, especially water resource. Showing case studies, while also pointing at the biggest issues that will help promoting the idea of sustainable development through the solutions of the future implemented right now in the modern world.

Ted talk + debate

The debate will start with TED speech contributed by on-site moderator, Kacper Nosarzewski, that will present a vision of a world with limited access to water - a vision of what lies ahead if we do not accelerate the development and facilitation of pro-environmental technologies today. He will also be in touch with online participants to ensure that panelists hear the most interesting questions from both the audience on site and those watching the event online

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.