Local recruitment: Hydro Specialist 

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation

Missoula, MT, USA 🇺🇸

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 policymaking?  If so, we invite you to apply to work for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Water Resources Division in Missoula, MT, the perfect place to find your center and experience the freedom and open spaces of true Montana!

At DNRC we are passionate about ensuring that Montana’s land and water resources remain a benefit today and for future generations. We are actively seeking a Regional Office Hydro Specialist who values the vast resources in our treasure state as much as we do.

The DNRC believes employees are their most important asset. The DNRC empowers employees to exercise professional judgment in carrying out their duties. Employees are provided with the training and tools necessary to achieve the mission. Both team effort and individual employee expertise are supported and sustained.

Work Unit Overview: The Water Resource 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 RO Hydro 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 uses information supplied by applicants and claimants and other information sources to make critical decisions about the legal and physical use of ground water and surface water.  The Hydro Specialist works closely with the staff in the WRD located in Helena and in other Regional Offices. The Hydro Specialist provides technical support to the regional manager for specific assigned projects such as working with watershed groups, and WRD bureaus, aids on water use complaints, and assist with mitigating to resolution of those complaints.

Working Conditions: The incumbent is required to spend up to 15 percent of the time collecting data in the field with the highest percent of time being from April through October. The incumbent must be able to hike over rough and steep terrain and to carry flow measurement equipment and chest waders to data collection sites and/or well probes and tools to remove well caps to measure static and pumping levels in water wells.  The incumbent must be capable of working in the field during bad weather. Because stream flow measurements at higher flows may involve risks, the incumbent must rely on experience and judgement as to what safety precautions are prudent; normal precautions include the proper use of life jackets and chest waders and safety lines, use of backup personnel should swift-water rescue be required.  Installing stream gages requires strength and the ability to stand and work in cold and fast-moving water. The incumbent must have good, driving skills required for both on-road and off-road travel and during times of in-climate weather.

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. 


  • Resume 
  • Cover Letter 

TIP:  When attaching your resume and other material, you must mark the attachments as “relevant” 

If you would like further information about this position, or would like to see the full job description please contact Kellie Richetti at [email protected] 

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in hydrology, earth science, environmental science, geology, engineering, or water resources.
  • Other combinations of education or experience may be substituted.

Preferred Experience and knowledge: 

  • 3 years progressively responsible experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of the procedures for reviewing water permit, water change, and water reservation applications including determining whether applications are complete and familiarity of procedures for public noticing, resolving objections, and for holding contested-case hearings.
  • Thorough knowledge of the different types of irrigation methods and the economics, soil and water requirements, water consumption, and engineering feasibility of these different methods of irrigation.
  • Thorough knowledge of mathematics and statistics, especially statistical inference, regressions, and probability. 
  • Thorough knowledge of the different types of irrigation methods and the economics, soil and water requirements, water consumption, and engineering feasibility of these different methods of irrigation.
  • Thorough knowledge of ARCVIEW, ARCGIS and other GIS software and principles for mapping.
  • Knowledge of the principles, theories, and methods of groundwater hydrology, and groundwater hydraulics including an understanding of groundwater hydrology procedures, models, and methodologies.
  • Knowledge of state and federal water management issues and policies, and state and federal water laws. Specifically, those laws dealing with water allocation; water rights; instream flows; and water reservations.
  • Knowledge of the methods used for determining the instream flow requirements for fish and other aquatic life, and for determining the flows necessary for channel maintenance and flushing sediments.
  • Knowledge of methods, principles, and protocol for collecting hydrologic data, and techniques and methods for analyzing data and reporting findings. 
  • Knowledge of geomorphology, river channel processes, and theories and methods for understanding and determining how water use activities affect these processes and what must be done to mitigate them.
  • Knowledge of local, state and federal government organizations and administrative procedures.
  • Knowledge on how to use collaboration, negotiations, and facilitation practices and techniques.

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:  Not Applicable  

Salary: $ 60,091.20 – 60,091.20  Yearly 

Telework Eligibility:  Telework Eligible (Full-time telework is not available. Telework schedule must be supervisor approved.) 

Benefits Package Eligibility:  Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan  

Number of Openings:  1 

Employee Status:  Regular 

Schedule:  Full-Time 

Shift:  Day Job 

Travel:  Yes, 10 % of the Time  

Primary Location:  Missoula 

   Agency:  Department of Natural Resources & Conservation Union:  000 – None  

Posting Date:  Nov 14, 2023, 11:08:24 PM 

Closing Date (based on your computer’s timezone):  Nov 29, 2023, 7:59:00 AM 

Required Application Materials:  Cover Letter, Resume  

Contact Name:  Kellie l Richetti  |  Contact Email:  [email protected]  |  Contact Phone:  4064440513 

The State of Montana has a decentralized human resources (HR) system. Each agency is responsible for its own recruitment and selection. Anyone who needs a reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process should contact the agency’s HR staff identified on the job listing or by dialing the Montana Relay at 711. Montana Job Service Offices also offer services including assistance with submitting an online application.

State government does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, creed, political beliefs or affiliation, veteran status, military service, retaliation, or any other factor not related to merit and qualifications of an employee or applicant.





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