April 2015

The Don Irrigation Scheme (DON) is planned to deliver 5,000ML pa of high reliability irrigation water into the Don, Forth, Barrington and Sheffield districts.

The scheme, once constructed, will provide water to some of the best land in the State. The area is famous for its cropping and further to the south for its dairy enterprises.

Originally proposed to be a smaller 3,000ML scheme providing water to the Don and Forth area, Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) extended the scheme area further south following a successful Expressions of Interest process that was requested by local Farmers from the Sheffield and West Kentish region.

The project is in the pre-feasibility phase and is expected to be one of the first Tranche Three schemes progressed to construction. The Forth River catchment provides the 95% reliability TI schemes are required to achieve and is regarded as the best water source in the area. Scheme design envisions a pump station on Lake Barrington and a second pump station downstream of Paloona Dam at Forthside. No storage dams are planned and the pump stations will pump to balance tanks with distribution to the irrigators via 67km of distribution pipeline.

A 150 day summer irrigation season is proposed, winter delivery could also be available given adequate demand from the irrigators. TI is currently working on the Preferred Option which will be available to the community for comment. Soon after this, the scheme should progress to water sales scheduled for early to mid 2020. It is expected that the scheme will provide high reliability irrigation water to over 80 properties