Daimiel tables, a unique ecosystem in Europe, are in danger due to lack of water

Water scarcity is destroying one of the most unique ecosystems in Europe. LasTablas de Daimiel, in the southern half of Spain, is a unique wetland, an obligatory place of passage for birds on their migration to the south and considered a Biosphere reserve by Unesco.

Its deterioration is evident in the eyes of Julio, the last fisherman in the area.

“It was a blessing to stop by”

“You used to get into the park here when there was good water, its Guadiana current, its good fishing, which had its good crabs, that there were and all that, and that was a blessing to go through there.”

For the park to regain its splendor as Julio remembers it, it would take a quantity of water capable of filling more than 1,300 large football stadiums.

The degradation is also suffered by the tourism companies in the area, as explained by Darío Rodríguez, manager of Ecodestinos.

“We continue to have clients because we have been dealing with ecotourism for many years, but for example the hiring of employees or the activities that can be developed have been reduced.”

Spain has until 2027 to comply with the so-called Water Framework Directive of the European Union

Of the entire floodable surface of the park, less than a fifth is currently covered with water and urgent measures are required as highlighted by our correspondent Carlos Marlasca.

“Spain has until 2027 to comply with the so-called Water Framework Directive of the European Union, which advocates the sustainability of water. This is one of the places where action is needed most urgently to reach this goal. ”

All the experts point to agricultural overexploitation as the main cause of the situation. The sector alleges that it has reduced the use of water; Jesús Pozuelo is one of those farmers; grows alfalfa, beets, and corn.

“Now we have horticultural crops, we have vineyards and we have woody crops; all this is irrigated with drip and eye with the provision of water that each year the Guadiana Hydrographic Confederation assigns us. ”

Ecologists defend that it is inevitable to stop the crops that drink from underground aquifers if you do not want to pay a high price. José Manuel Hernández, regional spokesperson for ‘Ecologists in Action’ explains the reasons.

“In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, many experts and scientists are saying that this is nothing more than a symptom of the deterioration of the environment, therefore, the consequences of deteriorating ecosystems go very far. But in the short term and for everyone to understand, the next step would be a shortage of water for supply. ”

Time is running out to rescue one of the great natural treasures of the Iberian Peninsula.