International Expert (Water Risk Management and Resilience)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh, , SA

During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms.  In addition, newer and more precise predictions of the effects of climate change indicate that Saudi Arabia will be affected more than had been assumed only a decade ago.

To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen.

First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side).

Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place. 

The transformation of this information into an all-encompassing water resources management requires sustained long-term efforts, especially since the MEWA has limited capacity and experience in this field. An UNDP program has been designed to initiate a systematic process of capacity development to help in sustainable development of water resources and management of water-related affairs the Kingdom to ensure permanent and sufficient supply.





Objective within the Framework of the UNDP Project

Water Supply in the Kingdom is presently based dominantly of fossil groundwater and desalination; wastewater and surface water harvesting presently play a minor role, but are strongly promoted. Management of the Water Supply Chain in the Kingdom requires the following tasks of prime importance:

1) Expansion of the water supply network towards 100% coverage through vectorized designs;

2) Integration of surface water and wastewater into the supply chain; and

3) A profound analysis of all the risks that may affect the individual components of the water supply chain and a mitigation plan (Resilience Management).

MEWA has asked UNDP for assistance in the selection of a qualified and competent International Expert for Water Risk Management and Resilience.

Scope of Work of the UNDP Expert within the Framework of this Project

The tasks and responsibilities of the UNDP Expert are to:

  • Lead the development of a “Water Risk” Resilience Master Plan based on:
  • Assessment of the (infrastructure) components of the water sector that may be affected by “Water


  • General assessment of risks that may affect these components of the water sector in the Kingdom.
  • Identification of stakeholders that are effectively or potentially affected by “Water Risks”.
  • Preliminary assessment of the risk management system of these stakeholders.
  • Based on the above, development of a RFP for a detailed study on the “Water Risk” in the Kingdom

       and a Master Resilience Plan

  • Close coordination of the development of this plan with the National Risk Unit.


Water Risk Assessment, Development of Risk Registry, Mitigation Master Plan

Expected Output 1st year

RFP for Water Risk Assessment, Development of Risk Registry, Mitigation Master Plan

Reporting requirements, frequency, format and deadlines

The Consultant will report directly to the CTA. Together, they will develop a mutually agreed upon quarterly work plan with key milestones and KPIs. The Consultant will submit a quarterly progress report against these milestones.



Core Competencies:

  • Strategic planning
  • Innovation
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring
  • Works effectively in Teams
  • Clear and concise communication
  • Ethics and Values
  • People Management

Functional Competencies:

Technical/ Functional:

  • Strong knowledge and expertise in civilian policing aspects
  • Builds support and good judgment
  • Strong analytical capacities and ability to synthesize complex inputs into coherent documents
  • Change agent including the ability to convince, convey and advocate.


  • Focuses on impact and result for the client
  • Coordinates/collaborates with all key stakeholders and build strong networks/ partnerships
  • Effective team leadership with strong conflict resolution skills
  • Establishes priorities for self and other members of the team; schedules activities to ensure optimum use of time and resources
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills


  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats people fairly without favoritism
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude


Education:  MSc. or PhD. in Civil or Mechanical Engineering with a water infrastructure background;


  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in water infrastructure projects – a relevant multi-disciplinary

       background is considered useful;

  • Comprehensive list of successfully completed projects;
  • Experience in GIS to document the supply chains and localization of risks;
  • Experience in modeling of supply chains;
  • Demonstrated expert knowledge of standard practices within field of expertise, as well as applicable

       codes and regulations;

  • Good (and demonstrated) organizing and leadership skills, preferably with development project

       management competency;

  • Excellent and demonstrated communication, consultation, negotiation and drafting skills;


  • English, excellent communication and writing skills in English; as the position implies frequent contact with local authorities, also excellent communication and writing skills in Arabic are required.






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development