There should be one water register for all rivers in Australia.
This is not a very difficult proposition, inflows to the rivers are not difficult to monitor, all extraction points should be metered, any tampering should be a criminal offence with substantial jail terms.
Natural losses such as evaporation and vegetation use can also be estimated with some degree of accuracy.
In 1966, as a 15 year-old, I joined one of the major banks.
This was in the days of steel nib pens and crank telephones.
With over 600 branches across Australia we were able at the end of each six monthly period compile profit and loss statements and have them on the general manager’s desk at the start of the next working day.
To account for the water in the river is a basic accountancy exercise that ordinary bookkeepers should manage.
Too many people are cheating and telling fairytales.