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Quantifying water exchanges between the environment and the economy is, conceptually, very complex. A complete quantification of the water flows from the environment to the economy and, at a later stage, back to the environment, requires detailed data collection and processing, which have not been done at the European level. Thus, reported data have to be used in combination with modelling to obtain data that can be used to quantify such water exchanges, with the purpose of developing a good approximation of ‘ground truth’. However, the most challenging issue is related to water abstraction and water use data, as the water flow within the economy is quite difficult to monitor and assess given the current lack of data availability. Therefore, several interpolation, aggregation or disaggregation procedures have to be implemented at finer scales, with both reported and modelled data. The main consequences of data set uncertainty are the following:

  1. The water accounts and WEI+ results have been implemented in the EEA member and Western Balkan countries. However, regional data availability was an issue for some river basins (e.g. in Turkish river basins), which had to be removed from the assessment.
  2. Because of technical issues in estimating the variable outflow to the sea, the seasonal WEI+ calculation at NUTS2 level could not be performed for Netherlands and some of other NUTS regions from other countries. This has been made explicit without presenting the WEI results for such entities in the final WEI tab.

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