Local recruitment: Water Resources Adjudication Specialist

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Helena, MT, USA 🇺🇸

Work Unit Overview:  The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Water Resources Division works directly with the public, local, regional, state, federal, and international governmental agencies throughout Montana on water management.  The Regional Offices conduct field operations and day-to-day activities for the programsof the Division including Adjudication and New Appropriations work. The Water Resources Division administers the Montana Water Use Act under Title 85, Chapter 2, Montana Codes Annotated.  This act provides for adjudicating Montana’s existing or pre- 1973 water rights (the adjudication Program); acquiring new water rights and changing existing water rights (the New Appropriations Program within the Water Rights Bureau); and a centralized water right record system. 

Job Overview:  The Regional Office’s Adjudication Specialist (adjudication specialist) performs a variety of duties associated with managing Montana’s water resources.  Adjudication Specialists analyze statements of claim filed in the adjudication process, water right records, and other data sources to identify legal and factual issues, perform aerial photograph and regional analyses, interview claimants, synthesize this data, and report findings to the Water Court.  As decrees are issued, Specialists evaluate and prepare comments regarding issue remark resolution.  Specialists may also perform investigations, give testimony in water rights cases, and provide assistance to the Water Court in collecting, checking, processing, recording, and maintaining water right claims, evidence, records, and case documents.  Specialists provide assistance and information to other agencies and the public regarding state water use laws, water availability, and local water use patterns.  The program also provides information and support for the state water rights records system and other duties of the Regional Office.

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.

  • Analysis of water use, availability, and management
  • Water management data gathering, analysis and presentation
  • Scientific investigations regarding water resources
  • Work with the Montana Water Court researching, preparing maps for projects administered by the Montana District Courts.  Researches pertinent Water Court and District Court orders.  Prepares distribution maps for courts and water commissioners.  Prepare reports for projects.
  • Attend and or coordinate public meetings.
  • All duties associated with Water Distribution Projects.
  • The specialist performs a variety of other professional and technical duties in support of Division and Regional Office operations.  This includes activities such as attending training and educational programs, meetings, and conferences; representing the Department to local groups and communities; and reviewing and commenting on Division administrative and technical policies and procedures.  Completes administrative functions including providing input on regional office annual operations plan, work plans, budgets, development plans, and other related duties as assigned. Participates on teams for hiring regional office personnel. Serves as acting regional/deputy regional manager as requested.  Participates in annual performance appraisal process.

Supervision:  The specialist does not have supervisory responsibility for other employees.

Application and Selection Procedures:  Selection procedures to be used in evaluating applicant’s qualifications may include, but not limited to:  an evaluation of education, work experience, applicant’s writing sample, submitted materials and an interview(s).  Please attach all requested material, 

All applicants must submit the following (only electronic materials will be accepted):

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

HELPFUL HINT: You must check the “relevant document” box to ensure your attachments are uploading correctly to the specific application.

If you have any questions or would like to review the complete job description for this position, please email David Ames at [email protected]

What are some benefits that you can expect from work at DNRC?

Paid Vacation, Sick Leave and Holidays
Health Coverage
Retirement Plans
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) – Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive student loan forgiveness under the PSLF. 


Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

  • The KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities) are typically acquired through a combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management or the natural sciences.
  • Minimum of one year of experience with water resources management. 
  • Coursework in water resources, physical or natural sciences, engineering, public speaking, and writing is desirable.
  • Alternate combinations of education and experience that have resulted in the acquisition of the listed KSA’s may also be considered.

Must have knowledge of the following:

  • Knowledge of Montana water law, relevant interstate and reserved water compacts, rules, policies, procedures, and government operations. 
  • Knowledge of water resource-related management theories, principles, concepts and practices; field investigation methodologies; and negotiation, and conflict resolution techniques. 
  • Knowledge of local water availability, water use practices, water measurement techniques and devices, irrigation methods and designs, public land ownership records, court decrees and orders.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal governmental administrative processes.

SPECIAL INFORMATION: Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States. A valid driver’s license is required with less than  twelve (12) conviction points in the most recent completed 36 months.

ELIGIBILITY TO WORK: In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the person selected must produce within three days of hire documents that show authorization to work in the United States. Examples of such documentation include a birth certificate or Social Security card along with a driver’s license or other picture I.D., or a U.S. passport, or a “green card”.

Applicant Pool Statement:  If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. 

Training Assignment:  This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.  

Job:  Environmental Sciences 

Salary: $  24.04 – 24.04  Hourly 

Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan  

Number of Openings:  1 Employee Status:  Regular 

Schedule:  Full-Time 

Shift:  Day Job 

Travel:  Yes, 10 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Helena 

Agency:  Department of Natural Resources & Conservation Union:  000 – None Bargaining Unit:  000 – None  

Posting Date:  Nov 9, 2021, 5:58:16 PM 

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone):  Nov 24, 2021, 9:59:00 AM 

Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume  

Contact Name:  David Ames  |  

Contact Email:  [email protected]  |  

Contact Phone:  406-444-6673 

The State of Montana has a decentralized human resources (HR) system. Each agency is responsible for its own recruitment and selection. Anyone who needs a reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process should contact the agency’s HR staff identified on the job listing or by dialing the Montana Relay at 711. Montana Job Service Offices also offer services including assistance with submitting an online application.

State government does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, creed, political beliefs or affiliation, veteran status, military service, retaliation, or any other factor not related to merit and qualifications of an employee or applicant.





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