A lack of water in the Murray-Darling river system, caused by drought and excess irrigator use, contributed to massive fish kills, a report has found.
An expert panel on Monday handed down a report into the three major fish kills near Menindee in December and January.
The report, convened by the Australian Academy of Science at the request of federal Labor, found "serious deficiencies" in governance had eroded the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the Water Act.
Panel chair Professor Craig Moritz said the fish deaths were an indicator of a river system that's in "crisis" because of insufficient river flows, drought and excess diversions from irrigators.
"Our review of the fish kills found there isn't enough water in the Darling system to avoid catastrophic outcomes," Prof Moritz said in a statement.
Australian Associated Press