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The implementation of those policies has resulted in some positive developments e.g. decreasing the total water abstraction at the European level. Nevertheless, policies addressing water stress remain scattered and overall progress has been slow. Building on a paradigm shift that originated in the 1980s, EU water scarcity and drought policy activated a transition from crisis management to proactive risk management approaches. Yet, this transition has been mostly a conceptual one, as in its implementation, the change of paradigm exposed a lack of institutional capacity across many Member States. So far, not in all river basins could water abstraction be reduced below 20 % of total water availability.

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