Local recruitment: Two Assistant Watermaster (Natural Resource Specialist 2 w/underfill option Natural Resource Specialist 1)

Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD)

Klamath Falls, OR, USA 🇺🇸

Initial Posting Date: 12/14/2022

Application Deadline: 12/26/2022

Agency: Water Resources Department

Salary Range: $4,356 – $6,664

Position Type: Employee

Position Title: Two (2) Assistant Watermaster (Natural Resource Specialist 2 w/underfill option Natural Resource Specialist 1)

Job Description: Oregon Water Resources Department 

Our Vision 

The vision of the Oregon Water Resources Department is to assure sufficient and sustainable water supplies are available to meet current and future needs. 

Core Values 

  • Integrity – We are accountable for all that we do.  We act with honesty and promote transparency. 
  • Service – We are dedicated to providing outstanding service and treating everyone equitably in our management and stewardship of state resources. 
  • Technical Excellence – We base our resource decisions on law, science, and expertise. 
  • Teamwork – We are united in our mission, relying on one another and working together with the communities we serve. 
  • Forward-Looking – We seek innovative and practical solutions to the water challenges of today and tomorrow. 

2019-2024 Strategic Plan 

The Oregon Water Resources Department’s strategic priorities for 2019-2024 are to: 

  • Modernize our management of Oregon’s surface water and groundwater resources to meet instream and out-of-stream uses 
  • Work to secure Oregon’s instream and out-of-stream water future in the face of increasing water scarcity 
  • Foster a forward-looking team dedicated to serving Oregonians with integrity and excellence 

Position Information 

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) seeks to hire two (2) Assistant Watermasters (Natural Resource Specialist 2 with an underfill option Natural Resource Specialist 1).  

These positions are permanent full-time positions located in Klamath Falls working in the Field Services Division.   The positions are represented by the Service Employees International Union. 

This applicant pool may be used to fill additional vacancies as they occur over the next three (3) months. 

The posting will be opened until filled with the first application review on January 3, 2023.   

Please note that these positions will be open until filled. The job posting could be closed at any point if successful candidates are located. 

The Oregon Water Resources Department is committed to creating a workplace culture that understands and appreciates differences among people and is welcoming and inclusive to all. By fostering fairness and equity in its work culture, the Department strives to improve services for all Oregonians. We acknowledge that not all people have experienced equitable opportunities or fair treatment. We are committed to increasing our awareness and understanding of historic injustices and building a foundation for meaningful change. We value a wide range of professional and lived experiences, and people of underrepresented communities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

What you will do 

This position represents the agency in a field location. From the field location, the Assistant Watermaster responds to water right disputes, informational inquiries and complaints in a timely manner thus preventing potential loss of crops, life or property. 

Assist the Watermaster in responding to water distribution needs and enforcing water law. Respond to distribution complaints by researching water rights, determining proper distribution, and implementing required regulation, under the general guidance and supervision of the Watermaster or Region Manager. Maintain a strong working knowledge of water law, court decrees, water right records, property legal descriptions, administrative rules, agency policy and physical aspects of water rights. Prepare reports and evidence for Watermaster and Region Manager when formal enforcement procedures are needed. Work with water users and require installation of measuring devices on significant diversions consistent with Department Goals. 

Assist the Watermaster in responding to groundwater complaints by compiling information relative to the complaint, researching well information and working with the Department’s hydrogeologists.  Prepare reports and evidence for Watermaster and Region Manager when formal enforcement procedures are needed. 

Collect and compile hydrologic data.  For surface water, make streamflow measurements of canals and streams and at gaging stations in compliance with measurement program standards; service, maintain, and repair gaging stations. Assist the regional Hydrographic Technician in process in streamflow records. Requires knowledge of hydrographic techniques in all phases of streamflow record production. For groundwater, measure water levels in wells, determine well location and ownership, tie well logs to the proper tax lot.  Prepare data and findings reports. Work with the Department’s hydrogeologists to assist with ground water studies, including initial assessment of data collection wells and collection of groundwater level data.  Assist and provide guidance to water users on the proper installation of measuring devices. 

Assist the public in researching water right records, well records, and hydrographic records. Prepare and maintain summaries of hydrographic records on a computer database for distribution to the public. Inspect wells for proper construction methods and perform safety inspections of dams. 

Perform other duties as assigned by the Region Manager. Conduct projects such as, but not limited to: research, preparation of staff reports on issues to be presented to the Department or the Water Resources Commission, and assist other sections or divisions of the Department as assigned. 

Minimum Qualifications – Natural Resource Specialist 2  

We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed preferred qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualifications. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether you meet the preferred qualifications of this position, please contact us to discuss your application.  

  • Two years of experience related to water resource management, AND a Bachelor’s degree in Hydrology, Geology, Civil Engineering, or other natural resource area, OR three additional years of pertinent experience;  


  • One year of experience in Hydrology, Geology, Civil Engineering, or other natural resource area, AND a master’s degree in Hydrology, Geology, Civil Engineering, or other natural resource area. 

Underfill Option Minimum Qualifications – Natural Resource Specialist 1 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Hydrology, Geology, Civil Engineering, or other natural resource area, OR three years of pertinent experience. 

Pertinent experience must include activities such as: 

  • Gathering and analyzing natural resource data and/or coordinating monitoring efforts for a natural resource program; and 
  • Providing technical assistance to the public in a natural resource program explaining laws, rules, and regulations, answering questions, help the public navigate and comply with agency procedures. 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Experience with an Oregon natural resources program 
  • Ability to tactfully handle difficult conversations or disagreements with the regulated community and other stakeholders 
  • Experience working with landowners to gain compliance 
  • Good written and verbal communication skills 
  • Extensive experience with water measurement 
  • Experience with digital mapping (ArcMap, CAD) 
  • GPS data collection and verification 
  • Experience reading maps (road, tax-lot, topography) 
  • Experience with field data collection 
  • Experience with streamflow measurement processes 
  • Familiarity with handheld devices, tablets, and/or laptops 
  • Experience driving in rough terrain 
  • Experience with database programs 

Note:  In addition to your related work experience and education, we will use both the minimum and desired qualifications above to determine whom to interview. Please make sure all your relevant qualifications are clearly demonstrated in your application materials. Your application materials may be evaluated on spelling, grammar, punctuation, attention to detail, and presentation. 

Working Conditions 

These positions require a valid drivers license and acceptabel diving record.  Work with people who often get irate when their water diversion works are regulated. This happens daily during times of distribution. Required to make streamflow measurements. Must tolerate wading in swift, cold streams and work in environments with noxious weeds, insects, and varying climates. Must travel in varied weather and road conditions in motor vehicles, snowmobiles or on skis or snowshoes. Is often alone in remote areas without radio or other contact. Must occasionally lift up to 75 lbs. 


The table below shows the monthly salary ranges for each classification level included in this posting.  

NON-PERS ELIGIBLE (Includes most new hires to state government. Employees typically gain PERS eligibility after six months of state service. 

NRS2 $4,073.00 – $6,230.00 Monthly 

NRS1 Underfill $3,546.00 – $5,396.00 Monthly 

PERS ELIGIBLE (Typically current or former employees of Oregon state or local government, public schools, universities, etc.) 

NRS2 $4,356.00 – $6,664.00 Monthly 

NRS1 Underfill $3,790.00 – $5,771.00 Monthly  

Other Benefits – We offer a competitive benefits package that includes:  

  • Exceptional medical, vision and dental plans with employees paying 1 to 5% of the total premium.  
  • Leave accrual starting at 8 hours of sick and 8 hours of vacation leave per month, with your vacation leave accruals increasing every 5 years.  
  • Access to an additional four days of discretionary leave – 3 days of personal business leave and one day of Governor’s Leave each year.  
  • Eleven paid holidays per year.  
  • Membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), including a pension and employer contributions to the Individual Account Program.   
  • Optional benefits (such as term life insurance, long-term and short-term disability, long-term care, health and dependent care flexible spending accounts, enrollment in the Oregon Savings Growth Plan, a deferred compensation program with a wide variety of investment options).  
  • The opportunity to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program  (must qualify). 

How to Apply: 

Please ensure to provide your resume and cover letter for full consideration. 

  • Provide a brief (no more than 1 page) cover letter indicating why you are interested in, and a good candidate for, the Assistant Watermaster position at the Oregon Water Resources Department attention Kyle Gorman. 
  • Provide a brief (no more than 2 page) resume indicating your experience pertinent to the required and desired qualifications in this announcement. 

Warning! The system will timeout after 15 minutes of inactivity. 


Please monitor both your email and Workday account for updates regarding this recruitment. You may be asked to submit additional information after initial application. If you have questions about this job posting, please contact Human Resources at WRD_DL_HR@water.oregon.gov 

Current State of Oregon employees must apply through your employee Workday account. 

Work Authorization 

The Oregon Water Resources Department does not offer visa sponsorships. Within three days of hire, all applicants will be required to complete the US Department of Homeland Security Form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States. 


If you are an eligible veteran and you meet the qualifications, veterans’ preference points will be added to your score. For more information on veterans’ preference points visit www.oregonjobs.org and select Veterans resources under Resources. Please do not attach veteran documentation to your initial application, after you have applied you will be sent a task in your Workday account to provide your veteran documentation at that time. 

The Oregon Water Resources Department is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Workforce Diversity. 





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development