Some $3.1 billion over 10 years has been pledged to restore the basin's rivers through water buybacks, but the report suggests the government is burning through the money.
"If the current performance rate is maintained ... the current budget would be insufficient to achieve even the smallest of the recovery targets," the report by water broker Waterfind reads.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised during this year's federal election that the government would pay for all the water needed to revive the basin's rivers.
If the government sticks to its 3000 gigalitre target, then that will be worth an additional $1.6 billion, the report suggests.
The promise will be worth an extra $5 billion if the government wants to return 4000GL to the river system.
The federal coalition seized on the report as another reason the government should explain its costings as well as its legal advice.
Mike Taylor's unexpected resignation as basin authority boss last week has cast renewed doubt over the legalities of any potential government reform.
"(The government) are either hiding things from the public or they don't know the answers," opposition water spokesman Barnaby Joyce said in a statement on Monday.
"They seem to be stumbling along and making it up as they go along and the minister doesn't seem to even understand his own act."
He criticised the government's $3.1 billion allocation as too small.
"At that rate, it will take until 2030 before all of the water is bought back."
13 Dec 2010
In this instance, the government sells its water supply, and the businesses involved only take monies from the general public, NOT investing back into the infrastructure.
What results is a TOTAL 'business' failure, to the detriment of the public, in this case resulting in a failure to provide an essential resource water.
The government then, 'buys' back at an over inflated rate to their business colleagues at again the expense of the populous.
The peasants pay twice if not more for government incompetence.