Murray-Darling watergate
(Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

In the latest move to tranquilise Australia’s interstate war over water, a new investigative body is being established to police the Murray-Darling Basin. Will a water cop finally help restore trust between water management agencies, states and farmers?

The basin, which covers a seventh of the land in this country and provides for around 40% of agricultural production, has been mired in controversy following water theft allegations, maladministration with the federal Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and misconduct allegations concerning a senior water bureaucrat in NSW.