Queensland has called on southern states to remain party to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan despite proposed amendments being blocked.
Victoria and NSW threatened to withdraw from the landmark bipartisan agreement after the federal government failed to stop a joint effort by Labor, Greens and Nick Xenophon Team to block its amendments to the MDBP in the Senate.
The Turnbull government had sought changes to the plan that would have reduced the amount of water being returned to the environment in southern Queensland and northern NSW.
The outcome sent the coalition scrambling to calm state counterparts who are now divided by the outcome.
Queensland's natural resources minister Anthony Lynham urged his southern counterparts to stay in the plan, saying he'd been reassured by federal shadow environment and water minister Tony Burke there was a way forward.
"I have been working behind the scenes with both sides of politics, I have been on the phone incessantly," he said on Thursday.
"I haven't been fighting this out in the media like some of my southern colleagues, I've just been working my way through.
"I would urge NSW and Victoria to stay in the plan. It's been so many years, we need to end the uncertainty."
Dr Lynham slammed NSW farmers for taking more than their share of water, and said a compliance review was being undertaken.