Nearly a million dollars will be spent to work out how to save water in an important set of lakes.

The Federal Government has announced a joint effort with New South Wales state government authorities to come up with a plan to stop the Menindee Lakes running dry.

The planning will cost about $800,000.

There is a strong need to try to halt the evaporation of the lakes, as they are an important tool for capturing flows from the Darling River, used to supply water to NSW, Victorian and South Australian farmers.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham and NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson announced the plan to make a plan at a press conference this week.

“This agreement will provide the basis for determining the total scope of water and cost of the overall Menindee Lakes project and is due to be completed in the second half of 2014,” Senator Birmingham said.

“I look forward to working with all states and stakeholders to ensure we proceed to implementation of these plans as quickly as possible.”

It is the latest in a long series of good intentions absent results, according to former chairman of the Darling River Action Group (DRAG) Mark Hutton.

He says after nine years of frustration about the lack of action over diminishing Menindee Lakes water, DRAG was disbanded.

“I think we've gone through this at least a dozen times before, different governments they all say the same thing but in the end give you nothing,” Mr Hutton said

“I could probably go to my drawer and get the last eight or nine proposals that the tax payer paid for and give it to them for free.

“Over the years, everybody as soon as they got into government were all 'gung ho and ready to go' but after they see the difficulties and especially with the politics they just put it into the too hard basket.”