The European Drought Observatory (EDO) was developed as a response to the need to better understand, monitor, and forecast the interlinked phenomena of water scarcity and drought (WS&D) in Europe and to provide input for the development of evidence-based policies in the field. A first attempt to address the WS&D problem in the European Union (EU) was included in the European Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000), which requires drought management plans to be developed in all river basin districts prone to prolonged droughts. However, this requires a clear definition of a “prolonged drought” and adequate monitoring and assessment systems. In 2007, the European Commission (EC) published a specific Communication 386to the European Parliament and the Council, Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union (European Commission 2007). This communication explicitly asks for the development of EDO and acknowledges its use for the enhancement of the knowledge of the issue. It further underlines the fact that efficient alert systems are an essential dimension of risk management and that an early warning system will, therefore, follow suit to improve the drought preparedness of the relevant authorities. It details the need for a system that “will integrate relevant data and research results, drought monitoring, detection and forecasting on different spatial scales, from local and regional activities to continental overview at EU level, and will make it possible to evaluate future events” (European Commission 2007, p. 9).