The Groundwater Hydrologist position provides support to the WRD and WMB in administration of the Water Use Act and to support implementation of the 2015 Montana State Water Plan. The position serves as a department expert on technical analyses of complex hydrologic conditions in support of water rights administration, policy development, and water management studies.
The Groundwater Hydrologist conducts hydrologic investigations and modeling studies, supports development and implementation of the WRD’s real-time stream gaging program, provides training and support on all facets of water measurement, and works closely with staff from WRD’s regional offices and the Water Rights Bureau to implement the Water Use Act. This position will also be called upon to support the State’s responsibility in fulfilling its commitment to implement the terms and conditions of 18 Federal Reserved Water Right Compact settlements. The position reports directly to the Hydro-sciences Section Supervisor; however, the incumbent is required to exercise considerable discretion, creativity, and professional judgment.
Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities): These job functions are the essential duties of the position and are not all-inclusive of all the duties that may be assigned to the incumbent.
A. Technical Support
This position provides technical support to the administration of the Montana Water Use Act, to the state-based stream gage program, and to all facets of water measurement.
- This position supports administration of the Montana Water Use Act by providing subject guidance on complex and/or controversial water right applications and change of use applications. The hydrologist provides guidance on physical and legal water availability analyses, historic consumptive use, and assesses potential adverse effects to other surface water and groundwater users on the source of supply. This position may support or provide testimony during administrative hearings and through depositions and affidavits to district court. The hydrologist in this position will also be called upon to work on the development of administrative rules and guidance documents on various aspects of water right administration and water management.
- This position supports the development and implementation of the state-based stream gaging program. Duties include, but are not limited to, identifying appropriate stream gage sites, working with landowners to secure access agreements, securing required permits, installing, trouble shooting, and maintaining stream gage stations and associated electronic communication systems, developing stage-discharge relationship curves, and managing the retrieval, decoding, processing, posting, and archival of program generated streamflow data.
- This position provides technical support and training to court appointed water commissioners, watershed groups, conservation districts, ditch riders, the Montana Water Court, irrigation boards, Department staff, other government agencies, consultants, and the public regarding all facets of water measurement.
B. Hydrologic Investigations
This position conducts hydrological investigations to ensure that accurate and appropriate information is available to support the resolution of water resource management issues identified by local water users, or local, state, and federal agencies. Typical investigations revolve around questions of basin water supply (physical availability), implementation of Federal Reserved Water Right Compacts, irrigation efficiency, drought and flood risks, stream dewatering, and the distribution of water by court degree. Hydrological investigations are conducted in consultation with interested stakeholders that may include water users, watershed groups, tribal agencies, elected officials and government agency personnel. This position also works closely with other state and federal agencies in collaborative partnerships. The position communicates complex information through fact sheets, written reports, oral presentations, and web-based applications.