Colorado residents: Hydrologist / Hydrographer

Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Denver, CO, USA 🇺🇸

Salary: $67,116.00 – $76,680.00 Annually
Location: Denver, CO
Job Type: Full Time
Department: Department of Natural Resources
Job Number: PDA 00032 – 4/22
Closing: 5/17/2022 5:00 PM Mountain

Department Information


Are you interested in investing in a career that makes a difference?
Consider joining the dedicated people of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. It’s our mission to manage and conserve Colorado’s natural resources for the benefit of people today – and tomorrow. That means we have to balance development with conservation so the state we all love provides similar opportunities for our children and their children.
We invite you to explore our website at to find out more about the work we do to manage Colorado’s natural resources for today – and tomorrow.
The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply.
 In addition to offering rewarding, meaningful work, we offer:

  • Medical and Dental plans
  • Strong, flexible retirement plans including PERA Defined Benefit Plan or PERA Defined Contribution Plan, plus pre-tax 401K and 457 plans
  • Paid life insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability coverage
  • Employee Wellness programs
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • 10 paid holidays per year plus generous vacation and sick leave
  • Flexible work schedule options and remote-work options
  • Career advancement opportunities throughout the State system

Some positions may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information, go to:!/pslf/launch

The Colorado Water Conservation Board exists to advocate the protection, conservation, and development of water of the State in order to secure the greatest utilization of such waters and the utmost prevention of floods for the benefit of the present and future inhabitants of the State of Colorado.

This position is the Stream and Lake Protection Section (Section) which exists to develop, administer, and protect instream flow and natural lake level water rights within the context of the State’s Instream Flow and Natural Lake Level Program (“ISF Program”) by correlating the activities of mankind with some reasonable preservation of the natural environment through the: (1) appropriation and protection of instream flow (“ISF”) and natural lake level (“NLL”) water rights; and (2) acquisition and protection of water, water rights, and interests in water for instream flow use, in coordination with federal and state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and other entities and individuals.  The Section also participates in collaborative efforts within Colorado’s water community related to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and coordinates with other sections on implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan.  Currently, the work unit provides protection for approximately 9,500 miles of stream through over 1,700 instream flow and 484 natural lake level water rights within the state.

Description of Job

Position Summary:  

This position exists to perform, at the fully-operational level, the hydrologic, hydraulic, and water right investigations and water resource studies for the appropriation, acquisition and protection of instream flow and natural lake level water rights.   This position also provides, at the fully-operational level, the complex hydraulic and hydrologic analyses for proposed water rights activities and other special studies. The ultimate purpose of such analysis is to provide accurate information to decision makers for preservation of the natural environment. To accomplish this mission, the position must apply the widest range of theories, principles, and concepts of hydrology, hydraulics, water rights, and water law to the problems, programs, and objectives of the Stream and Lake Protection Section.

Primary duties include but not limited to the following: 

Hydrologic Investigations and New Appropriations

  • Perform complex hydraulic and hydrologic analyses required to determine water availability for instream flow appropriations and acquisitions using a variety of information sources and techniques such as gage data, diversion records, water right information and appropriate modelling approaches
  • Review and determines the adequacy of biologic, hydraulic and hydrologic studies performed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the BLM, USFS, and other entities that recommend the appropriation of ISF and NLL water rights
  • Consult with Division Engineers and Water Commissioners on water availability and water use issues 
  • Prepare technical ISF recommendation summary reports for the Board’s consideration and is responsible for coordinating and collaborating with the AG’s Office in the assembly of the technical records and information necessary for water court applications for ISF water rights
  • Utilize GIS, DSS, and database information in the development of the reports
  • Recommend appropriate terms and conditions to resolve issues with other water right holders and is required to assist in preparing pre-hearing and rebuttal statements for contested recommendations
  • Present the final ISF recommendations to the to the hydrologic science lead and new appropriation staff authority for review and approval, and disseminates those recommendations to the public

Water Rights Investigations and Monitoring

  • Review water court resumes to analyze and determine the potential for injury to ISF rights and presents conclusions to the legal protection senior authority
  • Make recommendations on whether to file a statement of opposition and proposes language that would prevent injury to ISF rights  
  • Monitor ISF water rights by utilizing the flow alert system, ISF DSS alert tools, and USGS and DWR real-time satellite gages
  • Analyze hydrographs, decrees, stipulations, and other data, and consults with the Division Engineers and their staff to determine if the Board’s ISF water rights are in priority
  • Coordinate with the new appropriations staff authority (PSRS III) on situations where ISF rights may be injured by out-of-priority diversions and recommends whether an official request for administration should be placed with the State Engineer’s office to protect and enforce ISF water rights
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

The Colorado Constitution, Article XII, Section 13 requires that applicants for state classified government jobs be residents of Colorado, unless this requirement is waived by the State Personnel Board. This announcement does not include a residency waiver.
Check out for a quick video on how to apply for State of Colorado and Department of Natural Resources jobs, as well as how to search for jobs..

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Civil Engineering, Water Resource Engineering, Natural Resources, Watershed Science, Water Law, Hydrology, Geology, Geography, or field of study directly related to the assignment ANtwo years of experience in water resource data collection and analysis; water resource management; or managing hydrologic studies.

Work experience demonstrating competencies equivalent to the competencies learned through completion of the required education may be substituted for the education, but not the general experience.

Preferred Qualifications
The preferred candidate will have experience with Colorado’s Decision Support Systems and its components (including HydroBase, data management interfaces and models) and other water resource modeling platforms, state water laws and interstate compacts. In addition, a graduate level degree in engineering or hydrology is preferred.  

Conditions of Employment

  • Effective September 20, 2021, employees will be required to attest to and verify whether or not they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Employees who have not been fully vaccinated may be required to submit to serial testing in the future. Upon hire, new employees will have three (3) business days to provide attestation to their status with proof of vaccination. Vaccinated employees must provide proof of vaccination. Note: Fully Vaccinated means two (2) weeks after a second dose in a two-dose series of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two (2) weeks after the single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, as defined by the most recent State of Colorado’s Public Health Order and current guidance issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. 
  • Former State employees who were disciplinarily terminated or resigned in lieu of termination must disclose the information on the application and provide an explanation why the prior termination or resignation should not disqualify their application from the current position.  (Please Note: Absent extraordinary circumstances, prior disciplinary termination or resignation in lieu of termination will disqualify the applicant from future State employment with DNR).
  • Colorado residency is required at the time of application.
  • Must be willing and able to possess and maintain a State of Colorado driver’s license
  • Must be willing and able to conduct site visits and fieldwork throughout Colorado, one to five days at a time throughout the summer and into fall and occasionally during winter months.  Approximately 1 – 2 weeks per year
  • Must be willing and able to move objects of up to 20 lbs.

It is recommended that you contact the Human Resources Specialist listed below to resolve issues related to your possession of minimum qualifications. However, if you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for this position, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board or request a review by the State Personnel Director.
An appeal or review must be submitted on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative. This form must be delivered to the State Personnel Board by email, US Mail, faxed or hand delivered within ten (10) calendar days from your receipt of notice or acknowledgement of the department’s action.
For more information about the appeals process, the official appeal form, and how to deliver it to the State Personnel Board go to or refer to 4 Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) 801-1, State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director’s Administrative Procedures, Chapter 8, Resolution of Appeals and Disputes, at under Rules.Supplemental Information

The Colorado Constitution requires all appointments and promotions in the state personnel system be made according to merit and fitness.
Check out for a quick video on how to apply for State of Colorado and Department of Natural Resources jobs, as well as how to search for jobs.
Applicant Checklist:
Complete Applications must include the following documents:

  • A complete online Application for Announced Vacancy 
  • A cover letter that describes how your experience aligns with the minimum and preferred qualifications of this position. Cover letters must be uploaded as an attachment to your online  application.
  • A current resume uploaded as an attachment to your online application
  • If you are using education to qualify, a copy of your official or unofficial transcript showing that your degree has been conferred and the name of your school, or your NACES accreditation. Please submit this as an attachment to your online application.
  • If you are a veteran, a copy of your DD214. Please submit this as an attachment to your online application.

The Assessment Process:
The Colorado Constitution requires all appointments and promotions in the state personnel system to be made according to merit and fitness. Your on-line application will be reviewed by a Human Resource Specialist and/or Subject Matter Expert to determine if you meet the minimum requirements for the position.
Upon meeting the minimum qualifications, the next phase of the assessment process may consist of a Structured Application/Resume Review.  Utilizing your detailed on-line application, cover letter, resume and transcripts, the review is a comparative analysis against the listed required competencies, job duties and/or preferred qualifications in this announcement to determine technical competence, depth and breadth of experience and job fit in comparison to all other applicants for this position.  It is imperative that you provide adequate detail on your application and cover letter to describe how you meet and/or exceed the requirements for this position.  â€śSee Resume” or “See Attached” will not substitute for the completed and detailed on-line application.

Comparative analysis factors to be assessed:

  • Technical Competence – Technical experience as it relates to the duties outlined in this job announcement.
  • Depth and Breadth of Experience – Experience that covers multiple areas outlined in this job announcement; varied and not one dimensional; and demonstrate progressively higher level of responsibility with a wide range.
  • Job Fit – Experience evaluated to determine how well your experience aligns with and meets the business needs of this position.  Current/recent experience is preferred.
  • Upload additional pages if necessary to detail your experience and accomplishments.  Failure to include adequate information or follow instructions by the deadline for application may result in your application not being accepted for this position and may affect your inclusion in future steps in the assessment process.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

The Department of Natural Resources is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to our ADAAA Coordinator, Anna Kargobai-Murray, at [email protected].ADAAA Accommodations
Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Anna Kargobai-Murray at [email protected] at least five business days before the date that any accommodation will be required to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.

The Department of Natural Resources participates in E-Verify in accordance with the program’s Right to Work for all newly-hired employees. Employees are queried through the electronic system established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify identity and employment eligibility. You may complete section 1 of the I-9 form upon your acceptance of a job offer letter, but no later than your first day of employment and in addition, on your first day, but no later than the third day, you will are required to submit original documents to verify your eligibility to work in the U.S.  Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities at