A report into Tasmania’s irrigation sector for 2015-16 shows that three new irrigation schemes were opened in 2016 and water delivery doubled from previous seasons.
The Tasmanian Irrigation (TI) 2015-16 Annual Report highlighted the challenges met throughout the year as well as the success of sustainable water development in the state.
As part of the State Government’s aim to increase the value of the state’s agricultural sector to $10 billion a year by 2050, 2015-16 saw all 10 of Tasmanian Irrigation’s stage one irrigation schemes in full operation.
The report also found that prolonged dry period during irrigation season, followed by flooding during the year, impacted a number of dams.
As a result of the drought conditions, Tasmanian Irrigation delivered 67,000 megalitres of water, more than double the previous season, with the Upper Ringarooma, Dial Blythe and South East State three schemes all successfully completing their first irrigation season.
Five proposed schemes in stage two are at various stages of the project development process with two now under construction – Southern Highlands and Swan Valley.
Water sales for the North Esk Irrigation Scheme exceeded capacity which will help to progress a business case for the project, and the Duck and Scottsdale schemes are currently under assessment.
Further irrigation development by way of a potential stage three program is on the government’s agenda.
Following the release of the Future Irrigation Project Final Report in 2016, TI is advancing feasibility studies into another eight potential irrigation projects.