Hundreds of farmers have thrown their support behind the $750 million class action against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority in the NSW Supreme Court.
It follows a series of landholder meetings in the NSW Murray region last week with Southern Riverina Irrigators chairman Chris Brooks.
But Mr Brooks said despite the "overwhelming support" for the compensation for loss of income, claiming it has been caused by the MDBA's poor water management, some farmers were so cash-strapped they could not afford to join the class action.
"Some are in such a dire situation they simply do not have the cash to join the fight, which the group are estimating to total around $600 per land holding," he said.
"It has become so desperate some farmers cannot even afford to fund the fight for their own future, the fight to keep putting food on everyday Australian's tables.
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"But they're prepared to give up their glass of beer to raise the money required, if that's what it will take.
"Surely that tells us something must be done urgently, yet whether it is politicians or the MDBA we cannot seem to make them listen."
The class action was started with Mr Brooks and eight other farmers who said they were being cheated by the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
"The farmers know they are being screwed. We've tried all the right ways to highlight the cost of poor water management, but the MDBA will not listen to us and politicians have wiped their hands of the problem," Mr Brooks said.
"We have been left with one last resort, which is going through the judicial system where we can put all the facts in front of an independent umpire, who can determine whether or not we have a claim."
Irrigators in the Murray region are facing a second year in a row on zero water allocation and "unable to run a viable operation".
"All we want is a fair go. We do not think that is too much to ask," Mr Brooks said.
Southern Riverina Irrigators could not confirm how many farmers have joined the class action but said it was in the "hundreds".
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