SORTING out a complicated and confusing mess is something Mick Keelty is used to.
As a former Australian Federal Police Commissioner, it's those skills that will be needed in his new role as the current interim inspector general for the Murray-Darling Basin.
Mr Keelty was in Griffith this week as part of an inquiry into water management along the Murray-Darling.
The meeting was attended by irrigators and stakeholders from throughout the MIA, including Leeton Shire Council general manager Jackie Kruger.
The idea was to ask questions, as well as answer questions of those there who are seeking better outcomes under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the water market.
Untangling the issues is something that needs to be done across the board, including through legislation that is more than 100 years old.
"People are really hurting with this drought and are desperately looking for solutions," Mrs Kruger said.
"I thought it was a very constructive meeting.
"Mick Keelty was very specific about the scope of his inquiry and went to great lengths to make sure everybody understood that he wasn't going to be the 'knight in shining armour with a silver bullet' that solves it all.
"His inquiry is specifically around the 1915 water sharing agreement."
Mr Keelty said he was looking at the "low hanging fruit" to get fast, short-term water to irrigation communities that urgently need it.
On his list were suggestions such as freezing South Australia's annual water carryover in times of severe drought, taking the burden of conveyance losses away from irrigators, and cutting dilution flows down the system.
Other items on his wish-list were leveling the playing field between states when it came to water allocation rules, looking at compensation for "voluntary contributions" of water taken by the state government, and cutting red tape and bureaucracy.
Murrami irrigator Debbie Buller said Mr Keelty's tough-cop approach was "music" to her ears, but demanded to know how another inquiry would make the government sit up and listen.
"We've been saying exactly what you're saying for a long time now. I think we're up to 43 different reviews and inquiries," Mrs Buller said.
"We agree with you, but how is what you're saying going to be put into place?"
Mr Keelty agreed that communities were suffering from "consultation fatigue", but said there was a mood for political change in the air.
People are really hurting with this drought and are desperately looking for solutions.Leeton Shire Council general manager Jackie Kruger
"I think there's a groundswell of communities who say enough is enough," Mr Keelty said.
"We don't want another review, we actually want some action."