Hydrogeologist / Hydrologist

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

MEWA has recently established the National Center for Water Research and Studies (NCWRS), which will take care of initiating and planning of water-related projects and their implementation under supervision of MEWA. Ultimately, it shall be the national governing institution for all water-related applied and purely scientific research and studies.  It will also host the National Water Database.

Groundwater is still the dominant water supplier in the Kingdom. A thorough documentation and evaluation of the groundwater resources is ongoing, but needs additional increased efforts to evaluate secondary aquifers and remote areas. 

In order to overcome the aging infrastructure, new wells and well fields have to be planned and constructed, while many of the existing ones need assessment of their status and recommendations, what to do with them.

Surface water harvesting is considered a valuable and promising source for additional water resources for the Kingdom. Several dams are present, which will be a primary source for these resources through injection, mainly in wadi aquifers. These wadis need detailed hydrogeological investigations.

Hence, MEWA has asked UNDP for help in the search for an International Expert in Hydrogeology with ample experience in geology and hydrogeology of aquifer systems and concomitantly, experience in well design and construction.

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

The tasks and responsibilities of the UNDP Expert are to:

  • Advice on Well locations, Well design, Well construction, Aquifer testing, and Well completion
  • Based on the existing data sets, compile all relevant data for the individual Aquifers of the Kingdom
  • Develop a program to assess the present status of all government wells and well fields and prepare recommendations for further use (rehabilitation etc.).
  • Advice and plan in-depth studies for Artificial Storage and Recovery sites.


  • Comprehensive inventory of all monitoring and productions Wells in all Aquifers.

Expected Output 1st year

25% of inventory completed.

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 degree in Hydrogeology or Geological Sciences related to hydrogeological exploration and reservoir management – a relevant multi-disciplinary background is considered useful;


  • At least (10) years of working experience in the context of hydro-geological reservoir analysis;
  • Experience in drilling and borehole geophysics with respect to groundwater exploration;
  • Experience in hydraulic testing and interpretation of reservoirs;
  • Knowledge of stratigraphy and hydro stratigraphy of the Arabian Peninsula;


  • 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.