Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme
Tranche One

The Milford Dam is used to hold water extracted from the South Esk River in winter and then released to irrigators along the river in the summer when the river runs low

The Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme commenced operations in October 2013 and services the Conara, Epping Forest, Evandale, Perth and Longford areas in Northern Tasmania. The majority of water in the Lower South Esk system is delivered through the South Esk River. A pump station located on the banks of the South Esk River extracts winter flows from the river and it is pumped via a transfer pipeline to be stored in the 6,000 ML Milford dam.

Releases from the dam are made via the transfer pipeline back to the river during each irrigation season. The scheme’s Irrigators draw their water directly from the river further downstream. Water is harvested in the winter when the river is high and held until summer when the river is much lower.

Towns / area serviced

Conara, Epping Forest, Evandale, Perth and Longford

Principal primary production focus of scheme

Cropping, pasture, poppies, potatoes, peas, onions and cereals

Length of irrigation season

180-day summer delivery


KM of pipeline




Pump Stations


Power Stations

Approval February 2011
Construction started March 2012
Operations commenced October 2013
Capacity 5,298 ML
Cost $12.7 million
Number of irrigators 27
Forecast opening November
Forecast closing March
Daily flow rate 35.32 ML / day
Initial water sales cost $1,170 / ML
Percentage of entitlements sold 100%
ML available to buy 0
Order Water from the Scheme


Please contact our friendly team for more information about the Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme:

Scott Williams
Scheme Operator
Bill Chilvers
Irrigator Representative Committee, Chairperson