The area is a Ramsar site. It contains the last relict of an endangered ecosystem, known as Las Tablas de Daimiel. It is part of the drainage basin of the Guadiana River, with significant surface and ground connections, draining into lagoon systems (totaling 22,000 ha).
The main aquifer that feeds the basin is the aquifer 23, the largest in Spain with nearly 10,000 hm3 capacity and with hard and brackish waters (as the area contains limestone and gypsum).
The zone was declared as a National Park (1973) and as a Ramsar area (1973), as well as other categories for conservation and awareness of its ecological importance. Although for centuries the resources of the area (water and land) were used in a sustainable way, from the 1970s they were beginning to see serious ecological imbalances by pressure from irrigated agriculture.
The main problem is that it has developed an intensive agriculture in the natural environment, with technological changes in water extraction, caused 1) overexploitation and groundwater deterioration and associated ecosystems and landscapes, and 2) the appearance of conflicts called ' water wars'. This is because water has been used without any control by illegal extraction wells (about 10,000). Government has tried diferent solutions, by hydraulic works (dams and diversions) without effective resolution. All this has led to the declaration of the aquifer 23 as 'overused' by resolution of the Board of Governors of the Guadiana River Basin in 1994, and the questioning by the RAMSAR Convention (2011) of Tablas de Daimiel as a permanent member.
The current situation calls for coordinated actions in two ways. A program in the medium and long term conversion of irrigation and management of aquifers, wetlands, channels, ... and other short-term program management of water quality and supply of the basin, and especially ensure supplies required as reserves of water, preventing its squandering on irrigation.
To correct the situation was adopted in 2008 the Special Plan for the Upper Guadiana (AGEP), which provides for a Water Bank and the purchase of water rights, allocating 70% to the aquifer and the rest to legalize illegal wells.