Drought is a complex natural phenomenon that lacks a universally accepted definition, thus it is difficult to confront holistically. Several efforts have been made towards managing the widespread and catastrophic drought impacts. In this quest, the concept of vulnerability to drought seems to offer some significant potential. In the present attempt, a standardized drought vulnerability index (SDVI) is presented, applied, and spatially visualized through geostatistical methods on a country scale. Greece, experiencing frequent and intense droughts, was selected as the study site. In an effort to link drought characteristics to impacts, the index incorporates water supply information, demand data, the state of the relevant water infrastructure and climatic parameters represented by the standardized precipitation index. The index showed potential in portraying various vulnerability states and followed satisfactorily the vulnerability fluctuations in Greece in relation to recorded drought hazard dimensions and impacts. The SDVI may be considered as a first step for the emergence of an integrated SDVI with multi-scalar applications in environmental research and decision-making. It is believed that improving techniques in index formulation may complement more reasonable and acceptable solutions to water challenges posed by droughts and help avoid a drifting sense of continuous ‘water crises’.

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