The New South Wales cabinet is considering restricting water for irrigators in the Barwon-Darling during low-flow events.

As ongoing drought in the west of the state has seen the Barwon-Darling described as “an ecosystem in crisis” in a highly critical report by the independent NSW Natural Resources Commission.

“The current cease-to-flow period is the longest since records began,” the report warned.

The commission recommended urgent action to address the extraction of water during low-flow periods.

Reports say NSW water minister Melinda Pavey is planning to adopt some of the recommendations, but not all.

She is expected to face stiff resistance from senior ministers with responsibility for the environment, who will want to go further.