Local recruitment: Topeka Field Office Water Commissioner

Kansas Department of Agriculture

Shawnee County, KS, USA 🇺🇸

Job ID: 208046

Location: Shawnee County

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Agency: Kansas Dept of Agriculture

Agency Information:  Kansas Department of Agriculture

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is devoted to the total support of agriculture in Kansas. The department works for the entire Kansas agriculture sector including farmers, ranchers, food establishments and agribusinesses. The agency has a balanced approach to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and Kansas economy while promoting and advocating for the agriculture industry, the state’s largest industry, employer, and economic contributor. KDA helps to ensure a safe food supply, protects natural resources, promotes public health and safety, protects animal health, and provides consumer protection to the best of our ability.

Kansas Department of Agriculture: 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502

About the Position:

  • Who can apply: Anyone
  •  Classified/Unclassified Service: Unclassified
  • Full/Part-time: Full-Time
  • Work Schedule: Days (8am to 5pm)
  • Eligible to Receive Benefits: Yes
  • Veteran Preference Eligible: Yes


  • Annual Salary Range: $65,000 to $71,000 per year
  • Hourly Pay Range: $31.25 to $34.13 per hour

* Salary can vary depending upon education, experience, or qualifications.

Employment Benefits:

  • Comprehensive medical, mental, dental, vision, and additional coverage
  • Sick & Vacation leave
  • Work-Life Balance programs: parental leave, military leave, jury leave, funeral leave
  • Paid State Holidays (designated by the Governor annually)
  • Fitness Centers in select locations
  • Employee discounts with the STAR Program
  • Retirement and deferred compensation programs

Visit the Employee Benefits page for more information…

This position will remain posted until filled.               

Location: Topeka field office located in Shawnee County, Kansas

Position Summary & Responsibilities:

As Water Commissioner of the Topeka Field Office, this position represents the Chief Engineer and the Agency in matters pertaining to management of the State’s water resources primarily in the eastern third of Kansas.  Coordinates daily activities for personnel in the Topeka Field Office.  Develops office functions and plans, based upon statutory requirements and general direction of the Chief Engineer.

This position supervises personnel by evaluating assignments, checking quality of performance and results, holds meetings at least monthly and checks performance at least quarterly, through informal reviews, to ensure job duties are being fulfilled.  Oversees the operation and maintenance of assigned equipment and vehicles to ensure use is solely for authorized purposes.

This position trains and monitors performance of new and existing personnel to ensure they are proficient and knowledgeable in field procedures in order to obtain information such as water levels in wells; rates of flow in pipelines, streams and rivers; quantities of water stored in reservoirs; energy consumption by power units; various methods of applying water to the ten authorized beneficial uses in Kansas; physical locations of authorized points of diversion; and, stream obstructions with respect to Government Land Office surveys. Coordinates staff training to ensure their skill level is equal to their job assignments.

This position coordinates activities with individuals, watershed districts, municipalities, state agencies and federal agencies.  Cooperates with federal agencies in administration of agreements with the state of Kansas.  Determines when a bypass of inflows should be made through federal reservoirs, the rate of release to comply with downstream rights and appoints appropriate representative to make or adjust bypass.  Protects reservoirs releases by regulations authorized diversion to ensure delivery of contract purchases.  Calculates transit losses and travel time using U.S. Geological Survey information and actual stream measurements to protect said releases from unauthorized diversions.  Determine extent of vested rights, appropriated rights and administration of junior rights during water shortage, including groundwater/surface water relationship.  Review proposed water appropriations to ensure they are in the public interest, will not impair existing rights, are for beneficial uses and request is for a reasonable rate and quantity.  Review and approves applications for change in point of diversion and place of use, based on established guidelines and under special authority granted by the Chief Engineer.  Keeps daily records of diversion and prepares for more intensive administrative demands of streams designated for minimum desirable stream flow. 

This position demonstrates a thorough working knowledge and understanding of the statutory requirements, rules and regulations, and Division guidelines in order to effectively administer the Division program at the field office level.  Coordinates meetings on matters relating to permit conditions.  Reviews and makes recommendations to the Chief Engineer pertaining to established and proposed rules, regulations, and administrative procedures.

This position plans and directs office functions, including processing and/or preparing bookkeeping reports, vouchers, quarterly reports, inventories, correspondence and maintenance of files.  Review office procedures and make appropriate change to increase efficiency.

This position resolves problems and/or complaints with the public.  Assist applicants in preparation of forms.  Collaborates with Compliance and Enforcement Section in field activities related to water use reporting, forfeiture, and dismissal of permits.  Review and make appropriate comments on technical reports.  Plan, direct, and conduct independent studies.  Coordinate activities with professional consulting engineering forms.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental, agricultural, or natural sciences/resources. Experience in hydrology, agriculture, and geology is preferred.
  • Three years of experience in environmental program administration.
  • Good written and verbal communications skills.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration ability with people at all levels.
  • Strong multi-tasking, project management and prioritization skills.
  • Ability to extract, analyze, and complex technical information from a variety of sources.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and cultivate relationships and lead cross-functional teams.
  • Must be physically able to conduct field inspections involving the carrying of metering and GPS equipment.
  • Candidate will be required to have overnight stays from time to time.
  • Employee must have a valid Class C (or higher) Kansas driver’s license or equivalent license from another state. Employee is responsible to maintain an acceptable driving record to safely drive state vehicle and be willing and able to fulfill all job-related travel normally associated with this position. 

Recruiter Contact Information:

  • Name: Alyssa Satterthwaite
  • EmailAlyssa.Satterthwaite@ks.gov
  • Phone: (785) 564-6713
  • Fax: (785) 564-6777
  • Mailing Address: 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502

Required Documents for this Application to be Complete:

  • On the My Job Applications page, verify these documents are present and valid. Upload or delete and replace if needed.
    • DD214 (if you are claiming Veteran’s Preference)
  • Inside your Job Application, upload the these documents:
    • Resume (or choose existing resume if you have one)
    • Cover Letter

Job Application Process

  • Sign in to your existing account or Register for a new account.
  • Review and complete your contact information on the My Contact Information page.
  • Upload documents listed in the Required Documents section of this job posting to the appropriate location.
  • Complete and Submit your application.
  • Check your email and My Job  Notifications for written communications from the Recruiter.
    • Email – the email listed on the Careers>My Contact Information page.
    • Notifications – view the Careers>My Job Notifications page.

See the helpful links below to assist in completing your application:

How to Claim Veterans Preference

Veterans’ Preference Eligible (VPE): Former military personnel or their spouse that have been verified as a “veteran”; under K.S.A. 73-201 will receive an interview if they meet the minimum competency factors of the position.  The veterans’ preference laws do not guarantee the veteran a job.  Positions are filled with the best qualified candidate as determine by the hiring manager.

Learn more about claiming Veteran’s Preference

Equal Employment Opportunity

The State of Kansas is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We value diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential elements that create and foster a welcoming workplace.  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, political affiliation, disability or any other factor unrelated to the essential functions of the job.

If you wish to identify yourself as a qualified person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would like to request an accommodation, please address the request to the agency recruiter.





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