A bill before the senate which proposes changes to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan which will allow voluntary water buybacks has drawn the ire of southern Riverina communities with thousands coming out to protest.
The protest featured simultaneous rallies in Griffith, Leeton and Deniliquin and was designed to share community sentiment with senators in Canberra.
More than 1000 people converged on Memorial Park in Griffith to show their displeasure for the proposed changes with farmers even parading machinery along the main street.
Protests at Leeton's Mountford Park and Deniliquin's Multi Arts Centre Precinct drew more than 600 community members each.
Member for The Murray, Helen Dalton is speaking at the Griffith protest and said water buybacks will "decimate" food production in the region.
"These politicians need to realise they are biting the hand that feeds them," she said.
"It is a terrible indictment on some of these politicians.
"Tanya Plibersek is a lazy politician who is only concerned with retaining her own seat of Redfern.
"The last round of buybacks nearly destroyed the dairy industry in the region.
"We once had 60 dairies in the Murray, now there is 20, and I'm concerned that buybacks will further reduce that number."
Ms Dalton is also calling for a royal commission into water.
NSW Farmers Griffith branch chair, Glen Andreazza said the last rounds of buybacks had already delivered a huge hit to the area and he isn't sure it can survive another one.
"Our town has done its heavy part of lifting over the last 10 years, and we think we've done enough," he said.
"Quite frankly, if this bill goes through, the next one (round of buybacks) might be so devastating that we won't survive.
"Irrigation water is like lifeblood to all these communities in the Murray-Darling Basin and if you take blood from a human, you take enough, they will die.
"You take enough water from these communities, they will also die. So enough, we've reached our limit.
"Buybacks are not a path to a healthy river. The common environmental water holder cannot deliver the water they already have in their account.
"Let's get the constraints sorted and get that water delivered in full now without having to come and buy back another 450 gigalitres.
"It may not be 450, it may be 600, it might be 650. There's other water that hasn't been recovered that we may not be counting for, so it could be far further devastating than we actually think."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.