Abstract: Several natural resources planning processes are currently underway in Australia, with the Water Reform Agreement 1994 providing a legislative umbrella for the catchment based water planning processes. This paper presents the result of a case study conducted in the joint catchment of the Diamantina and Georgina rivers. This catchment is unique as it is a major tributary of the Lake Eyre Basin, the world's largest internally draining system covering an area of 1.2 million km2. Surface water flows in the basin are characterised by extremely variable seasonal and multiannual hydrology. The resource therefore fluctuates from a state of extreme scarcity to a temporary abundance. Historic withdrawals and allocation arrangements throughout the catchment have now been formalised through the Diamantina and Georgina Water Management Plan 2004 and the Resource Operational Plan 2005. The paper presents a brief overview of the collective- choice level formal rule creation process followed by a qualitative analyses of the stakeholders' reactions to the rule. Intrinsic valuation of interactions and outcomes and the likely future implementation by stakeholders are also discussed.