Local recruitment: Assistant Lower Rio Grande Water Master (Water Resources Professional I)

New Mexico Office of the State Engineer

Las Cruces, NM, USA 🇺🇸

Agency: Ofc of the State Engineer

Posting End Date: 04/03/2023

Job Posting Type: Continuous Job Opening

Job ID: 130911

Location: Las Cruces

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular – PERM for State


$20.81 – $33.29 Hourly

$43,279 – $69,246 Annually

This position is a Pay Band ED

Purpose of Position


Why does the job exist?

The purpose of this position as an Assistant Water Master is to work closely with Senior Water Master staff in efficiently administering and enforcing the distribution of available waters in accordance with New Mexico statutes, court decrees and the rules and regulations of the Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission (OSE/ISC). To monitor permit holders to ensure compliance with permit conditions, to process other related water right documents and to provide customer service relating to water right issues. This position will perform field investigations of alleged illegal uses of water and may testify as an expert witness in enforcement proceedings.

How does it get done?

1. Assist the District Manager and Water Master Supervisor in the administration of water rights and water allocations within the District’s boundaries. This includes providing the field presence necessary to properly represent the State Engineer to all water diverts/users of the Rio Grande and it’s tributary streams, and underground water basins to which the Water Master is assigned.
2. Assist in conducting investigations of complaints of violations of water use, non-compliant well driller drilling/plugging, prepare findings and prepare memorandums of recommendations for action to be taken and coordinate with legal counsel on preparing legal exhibits and testimony for the purpose of gaining compliance through the appropriate statutes. This may include serving as an expert witness in enforcement proceedings before the OSE/ISC Hearing Unit or District Court.
3. Accurately estimate or predict stream flow for determination of water availability for distribution to water users in accordance with decrees and interstate compacts for river and reservoir operation, water resource planning, water use determination and water rights administration. This includes regular maintenance of surface water measurement stations.
4. Assist water resource specialists in the administration of new appropriations and transfers of existing water rights from both surface diversions and groundwater diversions by providing field reports, flow data, measurement and/or metering data, structure specifications and physical control of water gates.

Who are the customers?

This job assists the general public.

Ideal Candidate

– Education, knowledge and experience with New Mexico water laws, agency rules, regulations, policies and practices.
– Ability to represent and speak on behalf of the agency at meetings and public events.
– Experience and extensive knowledge of New Mexico water right issues.
– Ability to work closely with the water rights managers to ensure objectives of the Water Rights Divisions are met consistently and with sound, defensible judgment.
– Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification

Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Science, Hydrology, Geology, Environmental Science, Water Resources, Watershed Management, Physics, Natural Science, Physical Science, Life Science, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Forestry/Forest Science, Conservation Science, Wildlife Science Emergency Management or Engineering. Any combination of education from an accredited college or university in a related field and/or direct experience in this occupation totaling four (4) years may substitute for the required education and experience. Substitutions Apply. 

• Education and years of experience must be related to the purpose of the position.

• If Minimum Qualification requires a specific number of “semester hours” in a field (e.g. 6 semester hours in Accounting), applicants MUST have those semester hours in order to meet the minimum qualifications. No substitutions apply for semester hours.

Employment Requirements

Must possess and maintain a valid New Mexico Driver’s License. Must possess and maintain a current Defensive Driving Course Certificate from the State of New Mexico or must pass and receive Defensive Driving Course Certification within six (6) months of date of hire as a condition of continued employment.

Working Conditions

State of New Mexico employees may be impacted by the Public Health Order dated December 19, 2022, which requires facilities licensed or certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), including all hospital types, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hospice facilities and rehabilitation facilities, as well as assisted living facilities and adult day care settings, to adhere to all COVID-related requirements prescribed by CMS, including, but not limited to masking and staff vaccination.

This position will require frequent field work which may at times be in adverse weather conditions (60% of time). Travel is required and you may be required to work a alternate work sites and may need to work flexed hours during the summer. Work is also performed in an office setting with exposure to Visual/Video Display Terminal and extensive computer and phone usage (40% of time). Must possess and maintain a valid New Mexico Driver’s License. Occasional lifting of equipment in excess of 50lbs may be required.

Supplemental Information


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Agency Contact Information: Ryan Serrano, (505) 524-6161Email

For information on Statutory Requirements for this position, click the Classification Description link on the job advertisement.

Bargaining Unit Position

This position is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.





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