Future of water in the pipelines

Additional water sales are being sought for Tasmanian Irrigation’s proposed irrigation scheme, which would store winter water from the Duck River in the Mill Creek dam and release it in the summer to surrounding farming districts.

Water. State-owned Tasmanian Irrigation is to seek additional water sales next month for a redesigned concept for the Duck irrigation district at Circular Head.

This follows last year’s water sales that fell well short of the interest originally expressed by 55 irrigators to buy rights to 9082 megalitres of water in the Duck district.

The new scheme provides 5000ML by storing winter water from the Duck River in the Mill Creek dam and releasing it in the summer by river flow and pipeline.

It is expected to reach farming districts from Roger River south of the dam site, to Irishtown, Edith Creek, Forest and Montagu in the north.

Water sales open on Tuesday June 2 and close on Tuesday June 23, and will be additional to those already registered.

“We are looking for commitments for the 5000ML scheme,” TI chief executive Chris Oldfield said on Tuesday.

“For it to proceed, we will need a 90 per cent minimum take-up, that is, sales totalling at least 4500ML. If water sales meet that threshold, we will submit a business case to the state government for funding approval.”

Mr Oldfield said farmers in the Duck district had shown strong demand for both dairy and cropping enterprises, though not sufficient to justify the original scheme.

Hence it had been redesigned, but would not preclude the future development of irrigation schemes for the Harcus or Redpa districts, as originally envisaged.

Tasmanian Irrigation is also currently in the process of providing a report on the feasibility of a community-run scheme to the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff.