Local recruitment: Water Resources Senior Associate

Environmental Incentives

San Diego, CA, USA 🇺🇸


We are seeking to hire a Water Resources Senior Associate to join our Domestic (US-based) Portfolio team. This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to meet the climate imperative and address critical water issues in California. If you have experience successfully managing performance-driven water projects and sustaining client relationships, we need you to lead an essential part of EI’s work. Consider

  • Are you good at managing relationships to get projects done?
  • Have you been envisioning something greater than your current organization or supervisor can see?
  • Are you culturally sensitive and ready to help underserved communities benefit from and shape environmental programs?
  • Do you want to lead measurable change for climate adaptation and achieve-on-the-ground impact in Southern California and the West?


The Water Resources Senior Associate will be a client-focused project manager, managing relationships with our municipal water clients and delivering performance-driven water programs. You will work closely EI’s Domestic Portfolio Director, with guidance from two other Senior Associates, to learn client needs, offer compelling solutions, and collaboratively help to deliver our largest domestic programs and projects.

Our clients include counties and cities that are taking direct action to conserve water and protect watersheds by reducing bacteria pollution, removing non-functional turf grass, and developing multi-benefit alternative compliance programs. We have built a private-property incentive payment program that has rapidly outpaced others across the West, and we are eager to see it grow. This high-performing program has already resulted in additional funding from state and local governments. A critical part of this next phase of growth will be to focus on serving a diverse set of underrepresented communities, both incorporating their perspectives and needs into program design, and ensuring they receive the intended benefits of the program.

If you are inspired by implementing an incentive-driven vision for sustainable water resource management in California, and in defining your own career potential, please apply.

About Environmental Incentives 

At Environmental Incentives, our purpose is to create the conditions for human and natural communities to thrive. We do this by helping our partners improve the performance of conservation and development programs. Our clients trust us to design and support implementation of programs that (1) use evidence to develop effective strategies within complex systems, (2) center local stakeholder experiences and facilitate collective action, and (3) produce results that support learning about what works. Environmental Incentives is a certified B Corporation with offices located in Washington, DC, South Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Nairobi, and Lima (pending registration). Our remote staff and consultants are based in multiple states within the United States, and across five continents.  


EI Senior Associates have strong consulting skills that they can apply to solve our clients’ most challenging problems. Senior Associates independently scope and develop high-quality and insightful products, and move overall work streams or small projects from conceptualization to final delivery with input from more senior staff at the scoping and review stages. They supplement their deep technical knowledge in one or more areas of EI’s service offerings, with strong performance in work process management and communicating effectively. This position leads product development teams on both internal and client initiatives, and makes decisions through the scoping, production, and review processes. This role effectively manages client relationships, earning trust with clients who have many different work and communication styles and deftly shifting styles to meet the needs of the individual. They take initiative in identifying value and learning across products, clients, and teams and are active in promoting that learning in internal and external venues. Senior Associates report to a Team Lead or Director and raise issues to senior managers, other teams, and the client at appropriate points, with feasible solutions identified. They manage contributions of Associates and Coordinators and coach them in process and quality assurance. Key responsibilities include

  • Managing workflow processes for contracted work, including taking leadership on scoping, production, and finalization of products and initiatives that meet EI’s quality standards for production and client engagement.
  • Contributing technical expertise to the preparation and delivery of contracted (or internal) work, and helping other staff and partners make high quality contributions.
  • Communicating results and findings by preparing and delivering presentations, reports, briefings, summary documents and other media.
  • Planning, generating materials, delivering content, and following up for client meetings, webinars, and events, frequently with the support of others.
  • Contributing targeted expertise to special initiatives, including EI annual priorities, business development, and marketing.

Near-Term Expectations

In the first 3-12 months in the position, we expect that the Water Resources Senior Associate will have demonstrated the following.

First 3-6 Months

  • Demonstrates understanding of our large programs and projects by summarizing them in writing and adding insight from personal experience.
  • Uses project management systems well for at least 2 months and can offer insights about budget allocation, personnel and product quality.
  • Is known by client leadership, and has delivered a valuable product or insightful interaction for 2-3 client leads.

First 12 Months

  • Performs as a trusted advisor or owning a relationship with one large client lead. This may be indicated by regular meetings, multiple instances of being sought out for answers/insight or leadership in negotiations for new tasks with the client.
  • Has produced a major written deliverable with support from a Director or other Senior Associate that reflects EI’s style and level of quality.
  • Has initiated 2-4 conversations with existing professional network to understand the contact’s needs, and can articulate ideas for how EI could help them.


Our team members are talented, creative, and inspired professionals who provide technical support in a growing practice while being flexible enough to add their unique perspectives to a strong culture. If you are passionate and thrive on collaboration, you are probably a great fit for our team!

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Water Resources Management, Environmental Science, Public Policy, Sustainability, Business Management, Planning, other related fields and 7+ years of experience; or Master’s degree and 5+ years relevant experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing a client relationship, including carrying forward a vision for success and managing the contributions of a team in delivering results.
  • Experience independently creating client deliverables including scoping, production, and review; or, experience playing a critical role in the development of products, such as guiding the defined audiences and dissemination plans, and performing reviews of products for audience alignment, voice, presentation, and basic quality assurance.
  • Demonstrated experience in water resources management, such as stormwater, water quality, water use efficiency.
  • Professional working proficiency in English (verbal and written). Professional working proficiency is defined as being:
    • Able to use the language effectively in most formal and informal written exchanges on practical, social and professional topics.
    • Able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most conversations on practical, social, and professional topics

Preferred Qualifications

  • Professional language proficiency (verbal and written) in Spanish and/or other languages.
  • Experience with the Conservation Standards and/or systems thinking approaches.
  • Experience as lead facilitator of client and internal meetings, both in-person and virtual.
  • Experience interpreting and using language in laws and policies to inform program design so that it will be adopted and implemented consistently.
  • Experience developing targeted communication messages that influence decisions by defined audiences.
  • Experience using quantitative analysis, statistical and mapping tools, online project workflows and data displays, and software for visual or website design.
  • Demonstrated successful experience developing and managing delivery of multi-stage production processes involving multiple team members contributing to a single set of products to meet broader project objectives.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Willingness to be available outside of regular office hours for client calls and other time-sensitive tasks.
  • Willingness to travel within California.
  • Problem-solving orientation, Creative thinking and growth mindset.
  • Ability to collaborate with, listen to, respect, and celebrate the contributions of others, including people from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to prioritize, self-motivate, and orient. 
  • Ability to proactively seek help when needed. 
  • Ability to develop and implement a personal plan of work. 
  • Ability to identify and overcome challenges. 

Additional Requirements

  • Legally authorized to work in the United States with no restrictions.
  • Criminal background check required.


The position will be based in San Diego, CA. Environmental Incentives is implementing a hybrid work model in which employees will be required to work in the office approximately two days per week. This position will periodically work from client offices in Southern California and is expected to involve travel 10-25% time. Occasional travel to Lake Tahoe, CA and Washington, D.C. is likely.

Proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or legally authorized exemption is required for all Environmental Incentives employees working in the United States, regardless of office location or remote work. Selected candidates will be required to provide proof of full vaccination before beginning employment with Environmental Incentives. Full vaccination is defined as 2 weeks after the final dose of the requisite vaccination.


The starting salary range for this position is $90,563-110,000 per year. Environmental Incentives also offers a competitive benefits package that includes:

  • 100% employer-funded medical, dental, long-term and short-term disability, and life insurance for employees, and the option to enroll in supplemental life insurance.    
  • Highly competitive 401k contributions that start on day one of your employment. Did we mention we offer environmentally responsible investment options?     
  • Generous vacation, holiday, and sick time. You’ll also get paid time off opportunities each year to vote and volunteer at a charity of your choice!  


Please submit your application no later than April 3, 2022. On a rolling basis throughout the application period, we will review applications and contact qualified candidates for additional information.


We are committed to developing an inclusive work environment for all employees, where diversity of thought, style, culture, and skill is valued in support of individual performance and potential, as well as our business goals and mission. We prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or and other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.  

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants with disabilities may contact Environmental Incentives coordinators via telephone, e-mail, and other means to request and arrange for accommodations. If you need assistance to accommodate a disability, you may request an accommodation at any time. Please contact Human Resources: 

Patrice Gulledge

Human Resources Director

Phone: (202) 525-2450 

E-mail: pgulledge@enviroincentives.com





You ad could be here!