- Soil water retention is a major soil hydrological property that governs soil functioning in ecosystems and greatly affects soil management.
- There is no clear indication on past trends for water retention across the EU due to a lack of systematic and harmonised data.
- Water retention capacity and soil moisture content will be affected by rising temperatures and by a decline in soil organic matter due to both changes in climate and land management.
- Projections (for 2071–2100) show a general reduction in summer soil moisture over most of Europe, significant reductions in the Mediterranean region, and increases in the north-eastern part of Europe.
- Maintaining water retention capacity and porosity are important to reduce the impacts of intense rainfall and droughts, which are projected to become more frequent and severe.