Parc Natural sAlbufera de Mallorca is an internationally recognised resting area for a wide array of migratory birds, and like most wetlands it has many other ecological functions and socio-economic values. In the catchment, in which the wetland is situated, expanding tourism and intensification of agriculture place much pressure on a limited amount of freshwater. The freshwater supply to the wetland decreased due to water-extraction mainly driven by intensification of agriculture in the catchment. As a result saltwater intrusion increased since 1983–1985. This had considerable impacts on the ecological integrity of the wetland as reflected by changes in the state of the aquatic ecosystem. The distribution of submerged plants, less tolerant of salinity, declined or disappeared, while the distribution of species, known to prefer high salinity increased. As a contribution to the development of monitoring programs and management strategies that address both socio-economic and natural water demand, this article will formulate ecological criteria to assess the natural water demand by selection of (bio)indicators within the aquatic ecosystem.