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The current EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy aims to build capacity and increase resilience to extreme weather events, including droughts. In this regard, there have been explicit calls and efforts to explore and further develop adaptation solutions that incorporate natural elements in them, such as green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. Commonalities between EU adaptation policy, the EU Strategy on Green Infrastructure and the Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, represent another interface between policy areas where water plays a central role. Here, progress has been made on the study of natural water retention measures that enable the achievement of multiple objectives like increasing drought resilience and water security, reducing habitat fragmentation, decreasing the emission of greenhouse gases, and providing spaces for recreation. Nevertheless, the primary objectives behind the construction of natural water retention measures are currently flood risk management, nutrient buffering and wastewater treatment, hydromorphological restoration and biodiversity protection (Buchanan et al., 2019). Water quantity and climate change adaptation objectives seem to be less influential in motivating their application. The Mission area on Adaptation to climate change underpinning the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme and the update of the EU Climate Adaptation Strategy are expected to drive more ambitious adaptation action through the funding of applied research and innovation and the demonstration of new solutions, including nature-based ones.

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