The Murray-Darling Basin Authority's strategy to deliver more water to the environment could lead to major changes in river rules.
In its draft constraints plan, released this week, it's identified nine areas which restrict higher environmental flows under the Basin Plan.
NSW Irrigators Council CEO Andrew Gregson says adjusting rules to increase the efficiency of water delivery is fraught with danger.
"Over the course of a number of years we have sought and received commitments from political parties of all flavours that they will not change the basic characteristics of entitlements," he said.
"What the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has done today is countenance rule changes based on who an owner or user of water is and that is absolutely not on."
Public consultation meeting on the draft plan start next week. Dennis Tinkler, chairman of Southern Riverina Irrigators, is tipping they'll be fiery.
"As I understand it, the consultation periods to date have been, dare I say, fraudulent, because they were told at those meetings the rule changes weren't on the table", he said.
"Now we find that rule changes are front and centre in this paper, so I think there's likely to be a lot of anger at these consultation meetings".