Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme – tender design

Client: Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Date: August 2010 – December 2010

Designing water infrastructure for an effective irrigation scheme supporting the regional agricultural industry


Reliable supplies of water are key to the continued expansion of agriculture in Tasmania. To support Tasmania’s vision of becoming the food bowl of Australia, rural irrigation is required to supplement natural precipitation and drought-proof the island.

Tasmanian Irrigation engaged Entura to undertake the tender design of the Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme (LSIS) in the northern midlands of Tasmania, providing 5000 ML of water to support cropping, livestock and dairy operations.


Entura provided project management, dams engineering, geotechnical engineering, design flood and yield hydrology, hydraulics, pipeline and pump station engineering expertise.  Entura worked closely with Tasmanian Irrigation embedded in the client’s office to ensure effective knowledge transfer and to reduce project costs.

A value engineering workshop facilitated by Entura enabled the concept design to be reviewed in detail and project risks and opportunities to be identified.

Entura provided tender design of the South Esk River pump station (235 ML/d), the transfer pipeline (1440 m, DN1200 mm) and Milford Dam (off stream storage dam, 700 m crest length, 19 m embankment height).


The Lower South Esk Irrigation Scheme gained regulatory approvals and business case approvals, was subsequently constructed and commenced operations during the 2013‐14 irrigation season.

Because Entura could provide the majority of the expertise required in-house, the need for subcontracting was reduced, saving the client time and cost. Entura’s extensive expertise in water infrastructure has enabled a robust and secure irrigation system designed for ease of construction and long-term ease of operation and maintenance. Entura has been able to mitigate project risks such as water storage capacity, excessive construction cost or high operating costs.

The water security provided by the scheme is expected to open up new opportunities for farmers in the Northern Midlands area. This investment in new irrigation infrastructure will sustain growth and jobs in Tasmania's agricultural sector for decades to come.