The ChallengeHow to integrate rapidly innovating ICT technology with city planning.


Lake Biwa is an incredibly important natural resource to the Shiga Prefecture area, providing both critical cultural, and economic resources to the region. The lake serves as a reservoir, providing drinking water to over 15 million people and as a breeding ground for freshwater fish and the pearl industry. It’s shorelines provide a driver for the tourism industry with several beaches, hotels and resorts, and annually Lake Biwa Day is celebrated by the community.

The government of Shiga is looking for ways to build resilience to threat of climate change, as the freshwater ecosystem of Lake Biwa will be impacted in several ways. The International Panel on Climate Change projects that Japan will experience heavier rainfall, flooding, extreme storms and periods of droughts. Freshwater ecosystems, such as Lake Biwa, may experience increased flooding, pollutant transport, sediment erosion from the increased frequency of storms, all decreasing the health and water quality of the lake. Warming waters can endanger freshwater species as well, disrupting food chains and the dependability of fishery resources coming from the lake.

In 1980, the Shiga Prefecture created the Ordinance for the Prevention of Eutrophication of Lake Biwa, keeping the area clean of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution discharge. Today’s challenges of climate change call for a new strategy to protect the lake and a need for innovative solutions. Companies with digital products that can strengthen lake management and climate adaptation are invited to collaborate with the Shiga municipalities through the Global Opportunity Explorer.

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