Groundwater Hydrologist 2

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Helena, MT, USA 🇺🇸

Work Unit Overview 

Water Resources Division (WRD) is responsible for promoting and coordinating the beneficial use, conservation, protection, and development of Montana’s water resources. The Division carries out its duties to promote the general welfare, economic and social prosperity of the people of Montana. Sound coordination of the development and utilization of the state’s waters allows the WRD to protect existing uses and to promote adequate future supplies for domestic, industrial, agricultural, and recreational needs, as well as the conservation of water for wildlife, aquatic life, and other beneficial uses.

Water Management Bureau (WMB) supports the mission of the WRD by conducting hydrologic assessments of Montana’s surface water and groundwater resources, conducting water resource planning studies, fostering stewardship of the state’s water resources through diverse outreach programs, providing technical support to other bureaus within WRD and supporting the development of new water resources policies, rules, and regulations. The WMB is organized into a Water Resources Planning Section and Hydro-sciences Section. The work of the Sections is coordinated through the Bureau Chief. In carrying out their duties, WMB staff frequently partner with local water users, watershed groups, conservation districts, other bureaus and Divisions within DNRC, and other state and federal agencies.

Job Overview 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

C. Other Duties as Assigned 

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:  The DNRC may include the following factors in determining whether an applicant meets the qualifications of a position vacancy by: State of MT application form, cover letter, current resume, educational requirements, structured interview, a performance test, job-related reference checks, job-related work experience, job-related past and current performance.  


  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • References (3)
  • Supplemental Questions

  ****Please address following two Supplemental questions within your Cover Letter. The cover letter must not exceed 1,000 words.

1. Please explain how your education, work experience, and your own personal career goals make you a good fit for this position.  

2. Please describe your knowledge of western water law and montana water policy.

HELPFUL HINT: You must check the “relevant document” box to ensure your attachments are uploading correctly to the specific application. Failure to attach the required material will result in your application being incomplete.

 DNRC Benefits:


EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  This position requires

  • A bachelor’s degree in a field related to Hydrology, Earth Science, Geology, Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, or Water Resources, with an emphasis in hydrogeology is required. A master’s degree in the above fields is preferred. The applicant’s transcripts must show completion of hydrogeology and GIS coursework.
  • A minimum of oneyear of pertinent, progressively responsible experience in hydrogeologic investigations, taking hydrologic measurements, groundwater modeling, implementation of Montana Water Use Act, working with diverse stakeholder groups, and public speaking.
  • Completion of a Master’s Degree and Thesis in a relevant field will be considered as one year pertinent experience. Education and experience equivalent and comparable to that specified above may meet job requirements and would be considered on an individual basis.

Working Conditions:

The position is based in Helena, Montana and approximately 75% of the work occurs in a normal office setting. Frequent travel and field work is required between the months of April and November. Travel may exceed 1,500 miles per month and will occasionally be two (2) to three (3) days in duration. The position requires the ability to walk over rough and steep terrain to carry field equipment to data collection sites. The hydrologist must be able to work outdoors during bad weather. The hydrologist must rely on experience and judgement as to what safety precautions are prudent. The hydrologist must have good, driving skills required for both on-road and off-road travel and during times of inclement weather. Some irregular hours, evenings, and weekends are involved.

SPECIAL INFORMATION:  Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.  A valid driver’s license is required with less than 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:  Not Applicable  

Job:  Environmental Sciences 

Salary: $ 28.49 – 30.02  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, 25 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Helena 

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

Posting Date:  Nov 8, 2021, 9:26:55 PM 

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone)

:  Nov 29, 2021, 9:59:00 AM Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume, References, Supplemental Questions (Refer to Job Posting)  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.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development