Groundwater Modeling Specialist 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦

Job Description


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are core principles at UNDP:  we value diversity as an expression of the multiplicity of nations and cultures where we operate, we foster inclusion as a way of ensuring all personnel are empowered to contribute to our mission, and we ensure equity and fairness in all our actions. Taking a ‘leave no one behind’ approach to our diversity efforts means increasing representation of underserved populations. People who identify as belonging to marginalized or excluded populations are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about working at UNDP including our values and inspiring stories.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture (MEWA) has the mandate to supervise the water sector, and manage and protect the natural water resources of the Kingdom. To carry out this mandate, the ministry has completed many water resources studies, prepared then National Water Strategy (NWS) and related water regulations, and initiated a comprehensive Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan along with other initiatives that ensure sustainability of water resources and high quality of water supply. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has an agreement with MEWA to provide MEWA with technical assistance in its capacity development to carry out its mandate.

The UNDP is looking for a qualified and competent international expert to work as a Water Information Management Specialist in the UNDP project team at MEWA.

Institutional Arrangement

The Specialist shall report to the UNDP CTA and DRR and should regularly (as decided by UNDP project management) provide him/her with written reports on his/her work progress.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Establish data sets for the conceptual hydrogeological models of aquifers.
  • In cooperation with MEWA geologists and hydrogeologists, prepare geological and hydrogeological layers for building the groundwater models. 
  • Develop, run, and calibrate new groundwater models for un-modeled aquifers.
  • Evaluate existing groundwater models and work on improving them.
  • Integrate results of groundwater models with the Integrated Water Resources Management plans to seek solutions for optimum water resources management.
  • Assess MEWA’s institutional capacity and provide recommendations on groundwater modeling.
  • Participate in capacity development of MEWA’s staff to advanced levels of proficiency in groundwater modeling. 
  • Participate in MEWA’s and UNDP’s technical seminars, workshops and training programs.
  • Prepare Terms Of Reference (TOR) for MEWA’s water resources-related projects. 



Achieve Results:LEVEL 3: Set and align challenging, achievable objectives for multiple projects, have lasting impact 
Think Innovatively:LEVEL 3: Proactively mitigate potential risks, develop new ideas to solve complex problems 
Learn Continuously:LEVEL 3: Create and act on opportunities to expand horizons, diversify experiences
Adapt with Agility:LEVEL 3: Proactively initiate and champion change, manage multiple competing demands 
Act with Determination: LEVEL 3: Think beyond immediate task/barriers and take action to achieve greater results
Engage and Partner:LEVEL 3: Political savvy, navigate complex landscape, champion inter-agency collaboration
Enable Diversity and Inclusion:LEVEL 3: Appreciate benefits of diverse workforce and champion inclusivity

Cross-Functional & Technical competencies (insert up to 7 competencies) 

Thematic AreaNameDefinition
Business Direction & StrategyStrategic ThinkingAbility to develop effective strategies and prioritized plans in line with UNDP’s objectives, based on the systemic analysis of challenges, potential risks and opportunities; linking the vision to reality on the ground, and creating tangible solutions;Ability to leverage learning from a variety of sources to anticipate and respond to future trends; to demonstrate foresight in order to model what future developments and possible ways forward look like for UNDP.
Business Direction & StrategySystem ThinkingAbility to use objective problem analysis and judgement to understand how interrelated elements coexist within an overall process or system, and to consider how altering one element can impact on other parts of the system
Business DevelopmentKnowledge Facilitation Ability to animate individuals and communities of contributors to participate and share, particularly externally
BusinessManagementProjectManagementAbility to plan, organize, prioritize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals. 
Business ManagementCommunicationAbility to communicate in a clear, concise, and unambiguous manner both through written and verbal communication; to tailor messages and choose communication methods depending on the audience Ability to manage communications internally and externally, through media, social media, and other appropriate channels
Partnership ManagementRelationship Management    Ability to engage with a wide range of public and private partners, build, sustain and/or strengthen working relations, trust, and mutual understanding

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Hydrogeology Environmental engineering, Water resources engineering, Geophysics, or a related field with emphasis on modelling, Ph.D. is an advantage., or 
  • A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience will be given due consideration in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • PhD is an advantage.


  • Minimum of 7 years (with master’s degree) or 9 years (with bachelor’s degree) of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in work on groundwater modeling.

Required skills and competencies

  • Experience in the use of computers, office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.), and web-based management systems, and advanced knowledge of spreadsheet and database packages.
  • Knowledge and experience in relevant thematic areas.
  • Professionalism
  • Planning & Organizing.

Desired additional skills and competencies

  • Experience in working, liaising, and collaborating with UN agencies, governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, and public international organizations.
  • Knowledge of capacity building theory and capacity building/assessment methodologies.
  • Communication
  • Teamwork


Important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.


UNDP has a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual exploitation and misconduct, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.  

UNDP is an equal opportunity and inclusive employer that does not discriminate based on race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status. 

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