The second stage of the South-East Irrigation Scheme was completed in commenced operations in May 1991. The original drivers for the project included finding ways of improving the security and volume of water supplies in the Coal Valley and the South East region more generally.
The region around the Coal River valley, Brighton/Tea Tree, and Orielton/Sorell/Forcett has established irrigation practices in a number of different agricultural enterprises. Production include fresh market vegetables, stone fruit and cool climate wine grapes. Traditional crops, such as poppies, processing peas, lucerne (regional equine market) and cereals are grown.
The scheme supplies 1,980 ML of water to the Richmond and Cambridge areas. The irrigation season runs for 365 days.
Water is sourced from TasWater and pumped into the Daisy Banks Dam near Richmond. Water for the dam is also pumped from the Coal River at the Richmond weir. Water is delivered throughout the district by approximately 30 km of pipelines.