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5.     Impacts and Responses

Water managers in Europe, and beyond, are faced by a catalogue of challenges of hitherto unseen proportions. These challenges include a the move from a traditional sectorial approach towards a more holistic consideration of water within the broader concept of ecosystem services, combined with the increasing uncertainty of the future direction and magnitude of the drivers and pressures, for example climate or land use changes. The increasing complexity of water management requires a more integrated approach and a comprehensive policy response to ensure that Europe’s finite water resources can continue to meet the competing demands from the existing and emerging stakeholders as well as increasing the resilience of socio-economic and ecosystems against negative impacts from extreme events such as floods and droughts. For example - the fundamental differences in both spatial and temporal nature of water scarcity & droughts compared to flooding requires distinct yet integrated policy responses.

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