Greater Cape Town Water Fund Manager

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Cape Town, South Africa
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.




The Water Fund Manager directs all operational and design aspects of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund (GCTWF). The Greater Cape Town Water Fund is a public-private partnership applying innovative financial and coordination mechanisms to restore ecological infrastructure in the catchments upon which Cape Town, neighboring municipalities, local communities and the agricultural sector depend for water supply.  To this end, the Nature Conservancy supports institutional capacity building to secure long-term water supply in the Greater Cape Town region. The Water Fund’s goal is to be a catalyst for improving catchment management by restoring strategically important sub-catchments in the Western Cape Water Supply System in collaboration with its partners. The Water Fund activities are designed to avoid water losses as a result of catchment degradation caused by invasive plants, wetland and riparian degradation and unsustainable land management practices.  

The GCTWF team have the following overarching objectives:

• Work with the National and Provincial governments and the City of Cape Town and neighboring municipalities towards a supporting legal and policy environment by drawing from examples of established Water Funds in other parts of the world, e.g. Latin America and Kenya’s Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund.  

• Improve catchment ecosystems that support livelihoods, water security, economic development and biodiversity outcomes by controlling invasive plants, rehabilitating wetlands and riparian areas; and working with land users to improve management practices, to prevent pollution, sedimentation and manage fuel loads to reduce the risk of wildfires

• Implement knowledge management and learning systems through a Monitoring and Evaluation framework that a) supports Water Fund decision-making and adaptive management, biophysical and socio-economic data collection and analysis and b) allows for scaling up and replication of best practices as rapidly as possible.

• Raise and pool private and public capital commiserate with the conservation opportunity to improve water security though ecological restoration 

The Greater Cape Town Water Fund manager is responsible for operational oversight, resource mobilization, community engagement, investor relations and staff recruitment and coordination. The Water Fund manager will oversee project implementation, coordinate and support activities and liaise with different stakeholders.  This position will report to the South Africa Water Fund Director and be expected to supervise staff and vendors. The position is located in Cape Town, South Africa with significant travel to the Western Cape Supply System catchment and some international travel.  




The Water Fund manager establishes the Greater Cape Town Water fund as partner within the Western Cape Water Supply system, defines Water Fund priorities and long-term strategies, builds strategic and technical capacity in the field and develops key partnerships with public and private organizations to identify and resolve technical issues, and to widely communicate solutions and best practices. He/she develops innovative tools and frameworks to optimize the Water Fund’s impact, engages local community support for local Water Fund efforts, and negotiate complex and innovative solutions with government agencies and landowners to restore ecological infrastructure in the WCWSS and thereby improving water security in the region





  •  Leads and manages the Greater Cape Town Water Fund team and projects to support and improve ecological infrastructure in the WCWSS.              
  •  Manage multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training and career development.  Establish clear directions and set stretch objectives.
  •  Establish and maintain optimal standards of performance for the Greater Cape Town Water Fund while controlling costs and administering budgets.
  •  Builds cooperation from multiple stakeholders to accomplish program goals, including board management of GCTWF steering committee.
  •  May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  •  Frequently makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience, and context.
  •  Development and implementation of the Water Fund’s annual work plan, informed by the business case and stakeholder input.
  •  Development of annual budgets in collaboration with the Water Fund Director South Africa and the GCTWF steering committee.
  •  Oversees deployment of latest and cutting-edge science in guiding conservation work in the WCWSS. 
  •  Ensuring timely delivery of Water Fund workplan targets and goals and sharing any challenges with the Water Fund Director South Africa and the GCTWF steering committee members for collective action and review.
  •  Liaise with relevant partners to ensure project communication material is compiled, collated, and presented to TNC South Africa Water Fund Director and Africa marketing and communications team.
  •  Prepare progress reports in accordance with approved reporting formats and ensure their timely submission. 
  •  Foster participatory approach by engaging primary stakeholder groups in implementation.
  •  Document lessons learned and engage with partners and water fund network to exchange experiences, promote learning, and achieve implementation excellence.





  •  BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  •  Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  •  Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies  
  •  Experience negotiating.
  •  Experience in managing and coordinating implementation of large scale invasive species control projects
  •  Experience in managing and coordinating rehabilitation of wetland and riparian activities
  •  Experience in working and liaising with local communities


  •  Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  •  5-7 years’ experience in conservation and water practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation and water policy and plans.
  •  Project finance expertise, including full cost accounting and structuring transactions 
  •  Experience with fundraising and brokering public private partnerships
  •  Knowledge of current trends and practices in invasive species management and wetland restoration.
  •  Knowledge of methods and invasive species, wetland and riparian restoration standards of information systems and initiatives or related field.
  •  Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  •  Demonstrated experience in managing budgets  
  •  Politically savvy.




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