September 2019

The Fingal region is one of the drier areas of the state with irrigated agricultural enterprises focusing on largely on fodder crops, fennel, potatoes, seed and poppy production. The main impediment to expansion of irrigation in the region is the limited availability of water and lack of security associated with supply during the drier summer months.

After much investigation a preferred option for the scheme has been finalised and approved by the TI Board. Unfortunately the piped sections of the scheme are uneconomic under all scenarios investigated to date. This means that at this stage the project scope is confined to riparian delivery in the South Esk River.

The preferred option is a larger 12,600ML riparian delivery, South Esk only scheme. This larger scheme will support future demand in the region and allow for potential augmentation of the scheme to include the piped sections at a later point in time should there be sufficient demand and water available at that stage to do so. It is intended that the scheme will delivery water over a 150-day summer irrigation period nominally from 1 November to 31 March annually.

The preferred option will be launched in September for public feedback with water sales expected to commence in November once transmission losses can be more clearly defined.