SCOR Conference 2017 - Water Risk
The first session of the SCOR Conference 2017 was dedicated to Water Security and Water Scarcity
The SCOR Conference 2017 opened on September 28 with a first session dedicated to Water risk. Richard Connor, Senior Water Resources Expert for the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, began his keynote presentation with what he called the big question – namely “Is there a global water crisis”? For him, there are “more like a series of local or regional water crises: some are chronic (e.g., Middle East, Western USA), others are recurring (from seasonal to multi-annual)”. He went on to say that most are actually related to how water is managed, or rather mismanaged – the issue of sustainable access to water arises where there is “a lack of human, institutional and financial capacity”. The keywords here are sustainable access - water-related risks arise where this is not guaranteed.
Risks relating to water are increasing around the world because the global demand for water is rising. Between now and 2050, the overall demand for water is expected to increase by around 50%. “The growth in demand is largely due to population growth of course, but more importantly to economic development and industrialization, and to improved standards of living and changing consumption patterns”, said Connor.
The sectors set to experience the highest growth rates in water demand (thereby driving the increasing global demand) are:
- Manufacturing (400%)
- Thermal electricity (140%)
- Domestic use (130%)
The vast majority of this growth is expected to occur in countries with emerging economies, and particularly in the BRIICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa).
Senior Water Resources Expert for the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme
The keynote speech was followed by a roundtable that brought together Frédéric Dhers, SBS Chief Underwriting Officer Americas at SCOR Global P&C, Johann Clere, Strategic Partnerships Director at Veolia, and Philippe Joubert, Senior Advisor, Non-Executive Director, Former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Alstom Group. They discussed the impact of climate change and future trends around water, highlighting the fact that conflicts over water resources are multiplying, but at the same time historic climate agreements are being signed, with a significant rise in climate change legislation in the past 20 years. They also talked about the challenges for both corporate and (re)insurance companies. Water and Energy are “a couple that cannot afford to divorce”, as Philippe Joubert put it. The energy sector consumes 15% of global water resources every year. This makes it all the more important for boards to take the lead and work closely with (re)insurers to build resilient cities.
SBS Chief Underwriting Officer Americas at SCOR Global P&C
Strategic Partnerships Director at Veolia
Senior Advisor, Non-Executive Director, Former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Alstom Group