International Specialist on Groundwater Modelling

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


Job Posting: 29/Apr/2022
Closure Date: 07/May/2022, 6:59:00 AM
Organizational Unit: FAPAK
Job Type: Non-staff opportunities
Type of Requisition: PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level: N/A
Primary Location: Home-Based
Duration: 120 days spread over until Dec 31, 2022
Post Number: N/A
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

Organizational Setting

This position is home-based while missions to Pakistan is expected. The main aim of the FAO country offices, which are headed by an FAO Representative, is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to achieve food security and to reduce hunger and malnutrition, to help develop the agricultural , fisheries and forestry sectors and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable manner. 

The following position is PSA.SBS.

FAO Pakistan under the Green Climate Fund is implementing a project called Transforming Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and Water Management in Punjab and Sindh Provinces. The project aims to develop the country’s capacity to get and use the information it needs to cope with the impacts of climate change on agriculture and water management. The overall goal of the projects is to enhance the capacity of agricultural and pastoral sectors to cope with climate change, by up scaling farmers’ adoption of climate change adaptation technologies and practices through a network of already established Farmers Field Schools, and by mainstreaming climate change adaptation concerns and strategies into on-going agricultural development initiatives, policies and programming. 
Modelling of climate change scenarios for Pakistan shows that if agriculture and water management in the Indus River Basin continue along a ‘business as usual’ pathway, increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation will pose serious threats to the future livelihoods of farmers and to the Pakistani agricultural sector. In response to this challenge, the project will help shift Pakistan and Indus Basin agriculture from its current situation of high vulnerability toward an alternative paradigm wherein better information and farming practices will significantly increase resilience to climate change. To do this, the project will develop the country’s capacity to get and use the information it needs to cope with the impacts of climate change on agriculture and water management by putting in place state-of-the art technology (Component 1); building farmers resilience to climate change through skills, knowledge and technology (Component 2), and creating a wider enabling environment for continuous adaptation and expanded sustainable uptake of climate-resilient approaches (Component 3).
The consultant is expected to contribute to surface and groundwater related activities in Component 1, specifically on Activity 1.1.2, which is outlined below.  
Activity 1.1.2: For more proactive aquifer management, the project will undertake a set of risk-based assessments of aquifer vulnerability to depletion and salinization in the project area based on hydro-geological mapping and improved monitoring and modelling of the anticipated impacts of climate change. The project will install 20 automatic groundwater level sensors in four districts (two districts per province) connected with already operational telemetry systems managed and operated by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and Indus River System Authority (IRSA). It will also train national experts in concerned institutions to conduct these assessments, to be used in deployment of precision-based irrigation techniques and complement aquifer management to reduce pumping intensities and skim freshwater lenses in aquifers otherwise vulnerable to saline intrusion.  

Reporting Lines

Under the direct supervision of FAO Representative in Pakistan and guidance of Technical Advisor (TA) and the Lead Technical Officers, and in close coordination and consultation with international officers, governmental counterparts, implementation partners and the project’s other technical specialists, the consultant will undertake the tasks described below. 

Technical Focus

Ensure timely delivery of all activities related with 
•    Hydrogeological modelling
•    Hydrogeological mapping 

Tasks and responsibilities

•    In coordination with the Project Management Unit (PMU) and CTA, participate in (online) meetings with local stakeholders and project teams to get familiarised with the project and gain information about surface-groundwater interaction in the project areas and about groundwater-related project activities;
•    In coordination with field teams in Punjab and Sindh, establish available data sets on aquifer lithologies, boundary conditions and observation well time series for the four selected aquifer targets;
•    In collaboration with the project GIS team in FAO, prepare all relevant hydrogeological layers for compilation as a baseline hydrogeological map of each target aquifer;
•    Develop and specify groundwater model parameters, boundary conditions and grid structures for each aquifer target in collaboration with project partners in PCRWR and  other groundwater specialists in Punjab and Sindh
•    Calibrate groundwater models on available time series data from selected observation wells;
•    Submit the end of assignment report summarizing completed tasks and required follow up actions, including details of specific capacity building exercises carried out through the course of the assignment.

Subsequently in  2023, the  four target aquifer models are expected to be validated with data sets acquired during the project including detailed surface water accounting data that will be come available for two of the target aquifers (one per province). The validated models will be used to develop long-term aquifer management . It is anticipated that this work will be covered by a subsequent contract.

Expected Outputs:

•    Baseline hydrogeological maps for four target aquifers
•    Model specifications for four target aquifers
•    Completed model calibrations for four target aquifers
•    End of assignment report including details of capacity building delivery and achievements.


Minimum Requirements

•    Master degree in water resource engineering/management, civil engineering, environmental engineering, groundwater management, hydrogeology, geotechnics or other relevant field;
•    12 years of experience in hydrogeological modelling;
•    Working knowledge of English.

FAO Core Competencies

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

•    Familiarity with USGS MODFLOW 6
•    Experience in designing implementation plans and developing training material
•    Experience in hydrogeological assessment and aquifer modelling
•    Experience in the preparation and revision of technical/scientific document  
•    Ability to write clear and concise technical documents 
•    Experience of engaging actively with key stakeholders
•    Excellent communication and presentation skills and working in multicultural environment
•    Knowledge of United Nations and International Organizations’ administrative policies and procedures.
•    Excellent drafting skills and analytical mind
•    Demonstrated ability to conduct research
•    Excellent interpersonal skills and to work in a team-oriented multi-cultural environment
•    Excellent communication and presentation skills and working in multicultural environment.
•    Willingness to travel
•    Ability to work independently, with initiative and minimal supervision
•    The ability to work independently and within a team to achieve project targets.
•    Good knowledge of common administrative and financial rules and regulations
•    Good knowledge of communication and documentation standards 
•    Display initiative and take responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and closely follow-up until successful outputs are achieved. 
•    Continue to seek new, innovative and improved methods and systems for accomplishing the work assigned.
•    Identify and recommend remedial measures to address problems in systems design or implementation

Selection Criteria 

Candidates will be assessed against the requirements listed above.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances. Subject to certain exemptions, vaccination against COVID-19 will in principle be required. Vaccination status will be verified as part of the medical clearance process.


• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
•  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact: [email protected]