The project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($26.3 million), the Tasmanian Government ($14.7 million) and other partners ($13.4 million). Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.
The project will deliver over 4,700 megalitres of high-quality water each year to irrigators across the Don, Forth, Barrington and Sheffield districts in northwest Tasmania. This will enable farmers to diversify, expand and increase crop rotations.
The infrastructure consists of:
- 2 balance tanks and one break-pressure tank to gravity feed the new irrigation distribution network.
- 67 new property outlets
- 2 new pump stations located at Lake Barrington and Forthside (downstream of Paloona Dam).
The stations will pump water to the tanks with distribution to the irrigators via a 53 km pipeline. Access to the pipeline over the 180-day irrigation season will also give farmers confidence to expand high-value agriculture such as vegetables, berries and dairy. Additionally, it will help to increase drought resilience, and continue to adapt to the changing climate and prepare for the drier, winter months.
The Don Irrigation Scheme is committed to environmental sustainability, with a strong focus on minimising and mitigating environmental impacts to protected fauna, flora and vegetation communities, as well as water ways, soil and biodiversity.
Use of scheme water will also be subject to the Farm Water Access Planning Framework. The framework is administered by Tasmanian Irrigation and establishes clear guidelines for irrigation water use to minimise potential impact on soil, biodiversity, and waterways.
The Don Irrigation Scheme is part of the Pipeline to Prosperity Tranche 3 Phase 1, which will see improved water security, drought resilience, agricultural productivity, and sustainable water use across Tasmania. Other projects include:
- Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme Augmentation
- Northern Midlands Irrigation Scheme
- Tamar Irrigation Scheme.
Construction of the Don Irrigation Scheme is expected to be completed for the 2023-24 growing season.
Key project benefits
- Learn more about the National Water Grid Fund as our primary program for responsible investment in water projects.
- Find out about our Science Program and how it’s helping to inform the work of the National Water Grid Authority.
- For more information on the Don Irrigation Scheme visit Tasmanian Irrigation’s project.