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SUSTAINABILITY| 26.11.2021

Protecting our water

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The human body is made up of 60% water, on the planet, this water level rises to 70%. It is an essential element for our development. We all need to take care of the water to survive, and although the amount fresh water that exists should be enough for the entire world’s population, it is becoming more scarce. The World Health Organization is now expressing its concern about “water conflicts”. This is because there are 2.1 billion people in the world without sufficient access to water, while 4.5 billion suffer from lack of access to safe sanitation services. At MAPFRE we protect water by offering coverage against loss and damage for individuals, professionals, and businesses.

Water. Our most valuable asset. A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF warns that unless the progress index is multiplied by four, there will be billions of people around the world in 2030 without access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation services in their homes.  This is the water people need to survive, not just for drinking but also for bathing, washing, etc. Water for irrigation also plays a critical role in relation to farming and food security.

In November 2002, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted its General Comment No. 15 on The Right to Water. Article I.1 establishes that the human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity.

On July 28, 2010, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed its Resolution 64/292, which expressly acknowledges the human right to water and sanitation, reaffirming that clean drinking water and sanitation is an integral component of the realization of all human rights. 

The UN has also included issues related to water in its 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 (specifically, as SDG 6), and MAPFRE is fully committed to these worldwide objectives. These issues related to water include achieving equitable, universal access to drinking water and sanitation services at an affordable price while also improving their quality, reducing contamination and pollution, eliminating wastewater discharge and minimizing release of chemicals, and considerably increasing efficiency in use of water resources.

 

A global priority

According to a report published by UNESCO, there is enough fresh water available to supply the world’s entire population. However, this water is not distributed equally, and the climate emergency is generating even more cases of insufficiency.

This scarcity can exist even in very rainy areas and those with local freshwater resources. Because of the way water is used and distributed, there is not always enough of it to simultaneously satisfy the needs of households, industry, and the environment.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has urged that “if we want to…end this crisis and create more resilient health systems”, then investment in water, sanitation, and hygiene needs to become “a global priority”. 

 

Playing our part

MAPFRE has been firmly committed to people and the planet for more than 86 years, helping to construct the social and business fabric of the countries where we operate. By Playing our Part, we continue to put a focus on our commitments to sustainability.

As an insurance company, MAPFRE offers a variety of coverage types related to this precious and increasingly scarce resource, to cover individuals, professionals, and companies against water damage and similar types of loss.

Of course, agricultural insurance covers losses and claims directly related to the insured assets, by offering protection against flooding and water damage.

In addition, most of our essential home insurance products include basic coverage for water damage, although it is very important to review exactly what types of coverage are included.

There are also a multitude of insurance solutions for specific types of systems and facilities managed by MAPFRE Global Risks, such as the following:

Coverage for Hydroelectric facilities:
Hydroelectric power plants are considered to be critical strategic infrastructure elements, because any type of damage or failure they experience can have a serious impact on society in general. During their various phases of operation, facilities of this type can be affected by a wide range of risks, such as damage to equipment or to the surrounding structures, and other types of risks related to new technologies. It is essential for major energy suppliers to have access to the best comprehensive insurance solutions.

The MAPFRE Global Risks Unit offers customized insurance coverage for companies operating in the field of clean energy, and it has its own team of specialized engineers who can make use of the latest risk inspection technologies.

Damage to water supply systems: These are the systems and facilities used to supply potable water, by transporting water from its source to its various points of consumption. As in the case of hydroelectric plants, these are infrastructure elements that are critical for society, and they are also exposed to a large number of risks that can affect their operation, such as damage from natural disasters (flooding, hurricanes, etc.). The Property Damage insurance offered by MAPFRE’s Global Risks Unit covers the most complex risks associated with infrastructure of this type, including damage and losses to the facilities and the systems they rely upon.

Damage to industrial wastewater treatment plants: In addition to water supply systems, it is essential to offer insurance protection against damage to wastewater treatment plants, because these are also of vital importance for certain industries, such as those producing chemicals, paper, pharmaceutical products, and automobiles.

Insurance for desalinization plants: The MAPFRE Global Risks Unit also offers insurance coverage for desalinization plants. These facilities can play a key role in regions susceptible to periods of drought, whether temporary or more long-lasting, because they are able to convert salt water from the sea (or from other brackish water sources) into water that is suitable for human consumption, irrigation, and industrial use.

 

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