Miners and farmers are fighting over a 145,000 megalitre water release in Queensland. 

The Queensland government has announced plans to release 145,000 megalitres of water into the Flinders River by the end of the year.

More than 180,000 megalitres have been released over the past five years in this area, as politicians and businesses push cropping as an economic option for the state's north-west.

Water Minister Glenn Butcher has toured potential irrigation developments near Julia Creek, Richmond and Hughenden, and says the government is considering a wide range of proposed sites and projects. 

Mr Butcher acknowledged that irrigators will be competing with mining companies for the water.

“We want to make sure the best projects and the ones that are more advanced will get priority as they go forward,” he said.

“There's also a mine that's looking to set up on that system as well, we will open it up and go to all of those prospective customers.”

Reports say three major projects are asking for about 100,000 megalitres each.

“By the end of the year we will have all those companies or proposals that have come forward into the department and assessed and then we'll be able to make decision on the most viable ones,” Mr Butcher said. 

The Cloncurry Shire Council will have to carefully delegate water, balancing the needs of a large mining industry and a proposed dam.

Cloncurry Shire Mayor Greg Campbell says there should be enough water for both mining and farming. 

“I dare say a mining company will pay a lot more than what farming can afford,” he said.

“Mining has been around in the Cloncurry area for over 150 years and will be around for a fair while to come.

“But each individual project comes and goes, whereas a well set up farming project will be here for a long time. It's a lot more sustainable.

“We'd like to see some balance where the long term future comes from having a good mix of industries.

“It's chicken and egg stuff, to get an industry going you need an economy of scale and somebody has to take the lead.”