Panel Date: 16-18 April 2018, 2018

ICTs in general, and 5G in particular, have the potential to improve the management of water resources so that water sustainability, efficiency and accessibility are enhanced. However, there are many difficulties that need to be jointly addressed by the water and ICT communities to ensure sustainable development and the equitable distribution of water-derived benefits. The objective at large of this panel is to discuss about these difficulties and their potential solutions and assess whether 5G can take us faster and further than existing ICTs. In particular, the panel will discuss whether and how 5G can contribute to address the challenges in the following areas that have been identified as key by ITU:

  • Mapping-monitoring of water resources: aspects to be solved in this area pertain to identify to what extent we can track (or even tag) water and see how disputes can be resolved via governance. In this case, ICT/5G systems properly handling remote sensor traffic can play a vital role.
  • Asset management for the water distribution network: in this case, the focus is on what ICT/5G can bring to enable accurate prediction of both supply and demand for water, in emerging and developing economies and also in rural and urban areas. It will also be important to see if potential solutions to this problem might be disruptive for current ecosystems and business models.
  • Setting up early warning systems: Gathering huge amount of data on water flow, pressure, temperature and other metrics, can allow predicting environmental disasters like floods or when a system is on the verge of failure (e.g., pipe breach).
  • Just-In-Time irrigation in agriculture: Information collected from sensors can be used to know the right time to irrigate and the right volume of water that should be applied, with the corresponding water savings. 5G-enabled technologies like big data, machine learning, and MEC will be capitalized on for the purposes of the last two bullet items.

The panel has been organized by the following members of WWRF: Nigel Jefferies (Huawei Technologies), Vino Vinodrai (McMaster University), Knud Erik Skouby (Aalborg University-Copenhagen), and Miquel Payaró (CTTC). The panel will be moderated by Mr. Richard Elelman (Centre Tecnològic de Manresa and Director General of the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities), and the confirmed panelists are:

  • Alain Staron (Veolia)
  • Dr. Hamid Mehmood (United Nations University - INWEH)
  • Victoria Sukenik (ITU-T)
  • Diego López (Telefónica)

More information here