Local recruitment: Staff Engineer

Upper Colorado River Commission

Salt Lake City, UT, USA 🇺🇸


The Upper Colorado River Commission (UCRC) is an interstate water administrative agency that works on behalf of the four Upper Division States of the Colorado River Basin (Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico). The UCRC was created by the 1948 Upper Colorado River Basin Compact to ensure the appropriate allocation, storage, and development of the waters of the Upper Colorado River Basin. The UCRC supports the Upper Division States on Colorado River issues, fosters comity and partnerships among the States, works to avert future controversy, and uses the best available science to advance a sustainable Colorado River Basin. Today, the UCRC works extensively with a talented team of UCRC Commissioners (representatives appointed by the Governors of each State, and one Federal Commissioner appointed by the President of the United States), top technical, policy, and legal advisors, and staff of the Upper Division States, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Tribal Nations, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) across the Colorado River Basin.

Position Summary

UCRC is seeking a full-time Staff Engineer with a strong background in water resource engineering and project management to work on-site in its Salt Lake City, UT office, with the potential to telework and the expectation of some travel. The UCRC staff is comprised of the Executive Director, a Deputy Director/Chief Engineer, another staff engineer, and an office administrator. This position will lead the UCRC’s coordination of water conservation and efficiency initiatives in the Upper Basin, assist with project management to oversee the installation of measurement and monitoring infrastructure, help to develop consumptive water use estimation science in the Upper Basin and contribute to modeling operational alternatives using Riverware and the Colorado River Simulation System (CRSS). This position will also be responsible for the coordination and compilation of a wide array of hydrologic water supply and water use data. The Staff Engineer will play a key role in setting and executing goals for the UCRC team; developing policy proposals; and working with other partner organizations around the West. UCRC’s efforts place a high priority on outreach and dialogue, and the development of program and policy solutions aimed at benefitting Upper Basin communities, especially opportunities for Upper Basin rural and tribal communities.

The Staff Engineer must have exceptional planning, project management, writing, budgeting, and public engagement skills, and an understanding of hydrologic/water engineering-related concepts that pertain to Colorado River planning and operations. The UCRC will rely on this position to:

– assist in coordination, oversight, and/or performance of studies, evaluations, research, construction and management of measurement infrastructure, and development of computer models for planning and implementation of drought mitigation measures.
– perform and conduct technical investigations and studies on existing and/or potential future water supply, existing and/or potential future water use, infrastructure, and operations, including computer modeling and determining the feasibility and/or impacts of proposed Colorado River-related projects.
– perform project management and contract management responsibilities. Assist in preparation of requests for proposals, proposal evaluation and recommendations for awards, oversight of the technical performance of consultants and contractors, schedule, change management, risk management, budget and expenditures, project close-out, etc.
– participate in interstate and intrastate technical teams related to, for example, consumptive use of Colorado River water, operations, water development projects, water conservation, and efficiency activities, water rights, and shortage.

There is an expectation that this position will entail staying current with the best available science and policy developments regarding the impacts of climate change on water supply/water use trends and potential solutions. This position will substantially contribute to the UCRC’s efforts to, in cooperation with the Upper Division States, develop and implement solutions to improve the reliability and resiliency of Colorado River supplies for use in the Upper Basin.



– 2-5 years of experience with water resource engineering and project management. Any policy analysis, scientific research, quantitative analysis, and/or public policy advocacy related to water resources is also desirable.
Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or related field. A Master’s degree counts towards one (1) year of experience. Certification as Engineer-in-training (EIT) and a valid Utah driver’s license is required. PE supervision is available.
– The ability to communicate complex issues involving water resources’ scientific and legal findings and matters of public policy. A general understanding of various aspects of the Colorado River “Law of the River” is helpful.
– Exceptional communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences through written documents, and oral, and multimedia presentations.
– Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to supervise staff while working as a member of a team. An interest in building on the multi-disciplinary strengths of the team.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds and areas of expertise. You must be able to pass a drug test and a background check.

UCRC offers a competitive salary, and excellent benefits, including health, dental, vision, retirement, and paid annual and sick leave. Salary is based on local/regional compensation scales and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary ranges from $70,000 to $82,000/year. There is an opportunity for some teleworking in this role. Some travel is required.

To apply, please email your resume and a cover letter to Alyx Richards (arichards@ucrcommission.com), or apply via LinkedIn or Indeed.com. We will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please, no phone calls or in-person resume drop-offs.






IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development