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Water demand for environment and economy

The population of European urban centres increases further, while the population in rural areas decreases. This leads to the development of more peri-urban land to meet the additional needs for residence and work space. Moreover, tourism in Europe has reached record-levels over the last decade and this has resulted in rapid land conversion for the development of touristic facilities and supporting transport infrastructure. Urban sprawl accelerates in coastal areas, which are also vulnerable to future sea level rise. The expansion of impervious areas and land sealing increases the risks of urban floods and drains away water that could otherwise recharge local aquifers.

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