Hydrologist/Water Resource Specialist

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Bozeman, MT, US

Are you interested in water supply, water management, and water rights issues?  Would you like to help contribute to the growing body of knowledge in these areas to assist with statewide policy-making and legislative decision-making?  If so, consider working for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Water Resources Division in Bozeman, MT.

The Water Resources Division is responsible for managing Montana’s water for the present and future needs of its people. We compile accurate, up-to-date stream flow data from more than 90 monitoring gages, providing critical data for managing reservoirs, irrigation schedules, water rights permitting and adjudication, implementation of Montana’s water compacts, floodplain management and other services for farmers, ranchers, citizens and communities. We also manage the operation and maintenance of 24 state-owned dams and 250 miles of irrigation canals.

JOB OVERVIEW:  The Hydrologist/Water Resource Specialist analyzes and makes decisions regarding permitting new uses of water and changes to existing water rights for the management of the state’s water resources.  This position will review technical information provided in applications and decide if an application meets the new appropriations rules; addresses deficiencies in applications, and reviews for consistency. The incumbent will interpret and make recommendations based off of specific historical uses of water, diversion works and conveyance facilities and field efficiencies, consumptive uses of water from crops all to determine historical flow rates and the volume of water used by a claimant for a variety of uses.  The incumbent is also expected to prepare maps utilizing Geographic Information System (GIS) technology depicting water use information.

This position makes critical decisions about the legal and physical use of ground water and surface water.  A determination is also required of the amount of water needed to be put to a beneficial use and the operation of the diversion works and development will meet the requested needs of the proposed water use.   Position evaluates the extent of historical existing water uses when processing applications for change to determine if the applicant met the rules regarding changes.

The position provides technical and investigative assis­tance to department attorneys. The incumbent prepares draft correspondence for and submits final reports to DNRC legal counsel, regional manager, bureau chiefs, division administra­tor and occasionally, the director, and the governor.

Technical hydrological support is provided to the regional manager, bureau chiefs, division administrator for specific assigned projects such as working with watershed groups, state water projects, floodplain delineations, determination of high hazard dams, and providing technical support for the National Park Service Compact and other area studies.  Review and update water availability studies that have been done and develop new analysis in the area as necessary.  Provides assistance in drafting of the new state water plan.  Provides assistance on water use complaints and assist with mitigating to resolution of those complaints.

This position requires the ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally with others and to provide information, advice, and guidance to technical and non-technical individuals regarding complex and often controversial water issues. This position also must be skilled in the techniques and methods of collecting and interpreting all types of surface and ground water resource data. The incumbent should also have working knowledge of basic ARCVIEW, ARCGIS and other GIS software and principles for mapping.

These job functions are the essential duties of the position and are not all-inclusive of all the duties that may be assigned to the incumbent. For a complete job description please contact Maggie Jolma at [email protected]

APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS:  The DNRC may include the following factors in determining whether an applicant meets the qualifications of a position vacancy by: State of MT application form, cover letter, current resume, educational requirements, structured interview, a performance test, job-related reference checks, job-related work experience, job-related past and current performance. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PLSF) – Employment with the State of Montana may qualify you to receive student loan forgiveness under the PSLF. Look here to learn more and see if you may qualify.


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    Cover Letter

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EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:  A combination of education and experience equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in hydrology, civil engineering, agricultural engineering, or water resource or forest management with an emphasis in surface water hydrology, and a minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience including the design and implementation of projects, project management, and public relations.

Experience and education must emphasize most of the following: surface water and ground water hydrology, hydraulics, river system simulation, surface and ground water computer modeling, statistics, watershed management, irrigation and hydropower development, collaboration, scientific design and protocols for conducting research projects, policy and program development, writing, and public speaking.

Education and experience equivalent and comparable to that specified above may meet job requirements and would be considered on an individual basis.

SPECIAL INFORMATION:  Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.  A valid driver’s license is required with less than 12 conviction points in the most recent completed 36 months.

ELIGIBILITY TO WORK: In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the person selected must produce within three days of hire documents that show authorization to work in the United States. Examples of such documentation include a birth certificate or Social Security card along with a driver’s license or other picture I.D., or a U.S. passport, or a “green card”.

Applicant Pool Statement:  If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. Training Assignment:  This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.