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The WFD itself establishes, at river basins scale, an integrated planning framework to enhance protection and improvement of the aquatic environment with the final goal of achieving the good environmental status of European waters. A key product of the WFD planning process is the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP), which is accompanied by a relevant Programme of Measures (PoM). The WFD recognizes the crosscutting character of water as a vital resource for social, environmental and economic systems, which places water policy in the middle of developments in other policy areas. To tackle water stress and droughts, the WFD puts more importance on acting on the drivers underpinning water demand (i.e. reducing demand from economic sectors consuming water) than increasing water supply. The WFD encourages abstraction control through permitting, water demand management, and efficient water use. However, supply-oriented measures, including reservoirs or diversions (inter-basin transfers), have also been planned in recent years by several Member States to meet their concerns on water security or shift their local water supply to alternative sources, because of the depletion and degradation local groundwater (Buchanan et al., 2019).

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