North Esk Irrigation Scheme - Under Development

The 4685ML North Esk Irrigation Scheme proposes to take water from the North Esk River at Watery Plains, Blessington during the winter and transfer it to a to-be-constructed storage at White Hills.  The 5,200ML “Dalness Dam” will be used to store scheme water for delivery during a 120-day irrigation season nominally from November through March each year.

Water sales in May 2016 saw the scheme fully subscribed and the infrastructure will be matched to the sales demand to service landholders in White Hills, Evandale, Relbia and the Nile Road area. 

Three pump stations are proposed for the scheme: The North Esk Watery Plains transfer pump station, a small boost pump at the Dalness Dam to service the White Hills area and a small boost pump to service landholders at Logan Road.

Some 58km of pipelines are proposed varying in size from 710mm down to 160mm.  These pipes are all proposed to be of High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) and will be installed with a minimum of 700mm of cover from the top of the pipe.

Currently Tasmanian Irrigation has submitted a Business Case to the Tasmanian Government seeking Government funding and approval to the scheme.  Subsequent to approval from the Tasmanian Government, support from the Australian Government will be sought.

Tasmanian Irrigation has also undertaken numerous supporting studies for the scheme and has commenced seeking the necessary Permits and Approvals to enable the scheme construction if government approval is forthcoming.

A 5,000ML water licence from the North Esk has been approved, an Irrigation District for the North Esk Irrigation Scheme has been declared.

An application has been made for the 5,200ML Dalness Dam, and an application for a quarry permit to enable construction material for the dam to be procured has been submitted to Mineral Resources Tasmania, the Environment Protection Authority and Launceston City Council.

Preparations are underway to complete applications for Development Approval from Launceston City Council and the Northern Midlands Council. A referral under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) will be made in April 2017 and other permits relating to flora, fauna and heritage values will also be sought.

The current timeline for the project, pending government approval is:

May 2017:                       Tendering for design and construct contracts

August 2017:                 Conditional contract awards

Summer 2017/2018    Construction of the dam and pipeline infrastructure

Winter 2018:                  Commencement of dam filling

December 2018:          Commencement of scheme operations

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