Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme - Under Development


The scheme design comprises of a dam on Camden Rivulet, a tributary of the St Patrick's River, to store winter flows. In the summer, water will be pumped via a 7km pipeline over the Sidling Range and then down by gravity through a mini-hydro station, to the existing Headquarters Road dam. Water allocated to this scheme will flow through an 8km underground pipeline around Scottsdale and on to the Waterhouse area. There will also be direct releases to boost flows in the Great Forester River, Hurst Creek and Brid River for direct take.

The proposed Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme comprises of the entire Great Forester and Brid River catchments, as well as parts of Boobyalla, Tomahawk and Little Forester River catchments. This 94,000ha area includes two distinct sub-regions. The drier northern sub-region, extending along the coastal plains and adjoining lowlands between Bridport and Waterhouse differs significantly from the wetter and more fertile southern sub-region, which extends along the inland hills and valleys from Springfield to Forester. Current irrigation is primarily applied to pastures, mainly dairy and some livestock finishing, with the remaining water used for cropping (potatoes, poppies and fresh vegetables). The potential irrigable area of this region is 17,366ha of which only 4,185 or 25% is currently under irrigation.

In completing the Business Case Tasmanian Irrigation has completed a number of feasibility studies including preliminary design and cost estimates, hydrology, ecology, geology and geotechnical assessments. TI also has briefed key stakeholders including Dorset and Launceston Councils, TasWater, dam site landowners, Inland Fisheries, Anglers Alliance the Tasmanian Conservation Trust.

Project Status

The Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme project is in the Design and Approval phase.  Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) has secured the necessary Water Licence, Dam Works Permit and Aboriginal Heritage Permits from DPIPWE; and Mining Lease from State Growth for the Benbullen Quarry, which may be used to construct the Camden Rivulet dam. Applications have been submitted to DPIPWE for a Watercourse Authority; and to the EPA for a Quarry Permit for the Benbullen Quarry.

Development Applications for Dorset and Launceston City Councils, applications for State Flora and Fauna permits; and a referral to the Federal Department of Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) are being prepared for submission.  Forest Practices Plans and associated timber valuations will be prepared in close consultation with affected landowners.

Water Sales and Funding

To date, 102 water entitlement purchase contracts totalling 6,710 ML have been accepted, which equates to 78% of the scheme’s capacity. The Waterhouse pipeline has been sold out, but there are opportunities for additional sales in other trading zones.  Please contact TI if you would like to discuss the purchase of water in the scheme. 

Irrigators were advised in December 2016 that the Government has made a commitment to funding for the construction of the scheme and that the second (i.e. 8% deposit) instalment of the 10% deposit on the Water Entitlement Purchase Contract, was now payable.  However, in recognition of the recent dairy industry downturn, invoicing was deferred until April 2017.
The original Business Case was approved by the Tasmanian Government in October 2014.  The addendum to the Business Case to increase total capital funding required to enable extension of the distribution pipeline to Waterhouse was approved by the Government in February 2017.

Project Schedule

The current project schedule forecasts release of tenders for construction in the second half of 2017, commencement of construction in summer 2017/18 and first water deliveries in summer 2019/20.

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