Hydrology engineer for performing hydrological and water-related calculations

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Ashgabat, , TM

Background

As problems of water management, energy consumption, land degradation (salinization), and agricultural productivity are all closely intertwined in Turkmenistan, so too are potential solutions. The project will address these problems through integrated activities, with a goal toward achieving multiple benefits in different areas. Thus improved water management will lead not only to greater water availability, but also to significant energy savings, avoided GHG emissions, and reduced salinization. Application of new renewable-energy solutions in water management will lead not only to avoided GHG emissions, but also to greater water availability in remote populated areas. This integrated approach will be practically applied and technically proven first at specific sites in the Akhal velayat, then replicated across the country through region-specific planning and outreach, as well as supporting policies and investment at the national level.

The project’s activities are organized into four components.

  • Component 1 will introduce new technologies in irrigated agriculture and pumping for energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable land management (SLM).
  • Component 2 will scale-up investment in new and expanded efficient water-management infrastructure.
  • Component 3 will deliver local and region-specific planning and educational outreach for IWRM and SLM among farmers and water-sector designers and managers
  • Component 4 develops and supports implementation of policy reform for IWRM.

The first two components will constitute the technical foundation of the project. For agriculture and infrastructure, respectively, these components will identify, verify, and document the most promising ways to save water, increase energy efficiency, and reduce water-related root causes of land degradation in Turkmenistan. The components will generate technical and financial performance data and practical experience to be used to plan and provide necessary justification to scale-up public investment and technology deployment nationwide.

The Government of Turkmenistan has committed significant budget resources to construction and maintenance of water management infrastructure, including for the project period of 2015-2021. Even so, the amount of state investment falls far short of what is needed to achieve the full technical potential to reduce water losses in the country. Most canals in the country are unlined, including those that serve farms but also those that serve the municipal water supply system of the town of Kaakhka and other municipalities across the country. There is no immediate prospect for a major program to line canals but other options can be explored.

The town of Kaakhka (also sometimes transliterated as Kaka) is a district centre in the Akhal velayat in the Kopet-Dag foothills in the southern portion of the country. The town has grown rapidly since independence to a present population of approximately 35,000, including adjacent villages. The current consumption rate of municipal water in Kaakhka is approximately 14,000 m3 per day, or about 165 liters per second. About 40 percent of Kaakhka’s water supply comes from groundwater extracted from 41 wells with electric pumps that run around the clock 365 days per year. The remaining share of water is taken directly from the Layinsuv River via a separate canal approximately 20 km long. Infiltration losses through the canal’s gravel bed are very high – approximately 50 percent, by MoA&WE estimates. Therefore, while about 200 litres per second are withdrawn from the river, only about half is delivered to the purification facility, with the rest infiltrating to groundwater. Nevertheless, the current data on water usage in Kaakhka indicates a per capita consumption of 400+ litres per day. While this usage is high by international standards, it may reflect local crop watering as well as leakage losses in the network.

The Layinsuw River has its source in the Kopet Dag mountains on the Iran-Turkmenistan border. The majority of the catchment is in Iran and the river passes though some 7km2 of irrigated land in narrow valleys before crossing the border and discharging in an outwash delta on the edge of the Karakum desert. There is a gauging station run by the authorities at the Turkmen border village of Hivabad, The river flow at the village enters a concrete splitter box with three outlets controlled by simple sluice gates. One channel feeds local irrigation fields, one feeds the village of Hivabad and the major outlet (two sluice gates) feeds the canal which is an existing supply to Kaakhka town, some 20km away on the edge of the desert. The canal has been in place for many years but has fallen into disrepair and the flow now follows a meandering natural channel to the intake reservoir some 5km north of Kaakhka town.

The fall is some 400m between Hivabad and Kaakhka and the proposal is to replace the open channel with a gravity pipe system in order to avoid the estimated considerable infiltration losses. In order to mitigate these losses and an apparent decline in river flow at the border, a network of groundwater wells has been developed in Kaakhka. Although these have relatively low yields, and the energy costs are significant, they currently supply 40% of the town’s water supply. Is an improved piped water supply capable of replacing these wells completely?

MoA&WE proposes to replace this inefficient system with a pipeline directly from the river upstream, thus nearly completely eliminating infiltration losses and replacing electric pumping wells with the simplest form of renewable energy – a gravity-based system with water flowing downhill. Installation of the pipeline would obviate the need for continued operation of the wells for at least 10-15 years, by MWE forecasts, thus leading to huge electricity savings from avoided operation of pumps. Furthermore, MoA&WE foresees that the concentrated kinetic energy from the water at the end of the pipeline could be converted to electricity via a small hydropower installation, which could power the pumping station that directs water from the purification facility to the municipal distribution network. (The change in elevation from the off-take point to the purification facility is about 400 meters.)

In addition to material costs for the pipeline, UNDP will also provide in-country and international technical assistance in overall design and evaluation. MoA&WE would cover a share of the cost of installation, plus any and all expenses associated with the hydropower addition. (The project is expected to merit the investment even without hydropower.)

The UNDP/GEF project team and MoA&WE recognize that investment of project funds in a municipal project needs to be carefully justified given that agriculture accounts for much more water use in Turkmenistan and indeed is the project’s main focus. This investment/demonstration project in Kaakhka is attractive for several reasons:

  • It addresses one of MoA&WE’s urgent priorities;
  • It has a greater potential impact in terms of affected population per dollar spent, in comparison with agricultural projects;
  • At the same time, the project is still relevant to agriculture because approximately 70 percent of Kaakhka’s population works in this sector;
  • It taps a very clear and well-understood technical opportunity for efficiency improvements in terms of both water and energy. Notably, by completely removing well pumps from operation, the project is expected to generate potentially much greater energy savings than possible with many agricultural projects. If hydropower proves feasible, then of course even more benefits in terms of avoided fossil energy use and GHG emissions will be possible;
  • It embodies perhaps the simplest form of renewable energy (water flowing downhill), plus the potential for small-scale hydroelectric generation. Project linkages with hydroelectricity have been recommended as an area of potential interest during project review by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP);
  • The project lends itself well to quantitative evaluation of energy and water savings;
  • It offers an opportunity for innovation completely without precedent in Turkmenistan;
  • There are more than 30 other communities in the Kopet Dag foothills, with a total population of nearly 150,000 people, which could replicate results from this project;
  • Lessons learned from the pipeline could be applicable also to large-scale water management and agricultural applications nationwide.

In order to proceed with topographic survey and preparation of a comprehensive feasibility study, including the design and cost-estimate works, detailed hydrological analysis (hydrological and water related calculations) is essential to inform the process of the feasibility study.

As problems of water management, energy consumption, land degradation (salinization), and agricultural productivity are all closely intertwined in Turkmenistan, so too are potential solutions. The project will address these problems through integrated activities, with a goal toward achieving multiple benefits in different areas. Thus improved water management will lead not only to greater water availability, but also to significant energy savings, avoided GHG emissions, and reduced salinization. Application of new renewable-energy solutions in water management will lead not only to avoided GHG emissions, but also to greater water availability in remote populated areas. This integrated approach will be practically applied and technically proven first at specific sites in the Akhal velayat, then replicated across the country through region-specific planning and outreach, as well as supporting policies and investment at the national level.

The project’s activities are organized into four components:

  • Component 1 will introduce new technologies in irrigated agriculture and pumping for energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable land management (SLM);
  • Component 2 will scale-up investment in new and expanded efficient water-management infrastructure;
  • Component 3 will deliver local and region-specific planning and educational outreach for IWRM and SLM among farmers and water-sector designers and managers;
  • Component 4 develops and supports implementation of policy reform for IWRM.

The first two components will constitute the technical foundation of the project. For agriculture and infrastructure, respectively, these components will identify, verify, and document the most promising ways to save water, increase energy efficiency, and reduce water-related root causes of land degradation in Turkmenistan. The components will generate technical and financial performance data and practical experience to be used to plan and provide necessary justification to scale-up public investment and technology deployment nationwide.

The Government of Turkmenistan has committed significant budget resources to construction and maintenance of water management infrastructure, including for the project period of 2015-2021. Even so, the amount of state investment falls far short of what is needed to achieve the full technical potential to reduce water losses in the country. Most canals in the country are unlined, including those that serve farms but also those that serve the municipal water supply system of the town of Kaakhka and other municipalities across the country. There is no immediate prospect for a major program to line canals but other options can be explored.

The town of Kaakhka (also sometimes transliterated as Kaka) is a district centre in the Akhal velayat in the Kopet-Dag foothills in the southern portion of the country. The town has grown rapidly since independence to a present population of approximately 35,000, including adjacent villages. The current consumption rate of municipal water in Kaakhka is approximately 14,000 m3 per day, or about 165 liters per second. About 40 percent of Kaakhka’s water supply comes from groundwater extracted from 41 wells with electric pumps that run around the clock 365 days per year. The remaining share of water is taken directly from the Layinsuv River via a separate canal approximately 20 km long. Infiltration losses through the canal’s gravel bed are very high – approximately 50 percent, by MoA&WE estimates. Therefore, while about 200 litres per second are withdrawn from the river, only about half is delivered to the purification facility, with the rest infiltrating to groundwater. Nevertheless, the current data on water usage in Kaakhka indicates a per capita consumption of 400+ litres per day. While this usage is high by international standards, it may reflect local crop watering as well as leakage losses in the network.

The Layinsuw River has its source in the Kopet Dag mountains on the Iran-Turkmenistan border. The majority of the catchment is in Iran and the river passes though some 7km2 of irrigated land in narrow valleys before crossing the border and discharging in an outwash delta on the edge of the Karakum desert. There is a gauging station run by the authorities at the Turkmen border village of Hivabad, The river flow at the village enters a concrete splitter box with three outlets controlled by simple sluice gates. One channel feeds local irrigation fields, one feeds the village of Hivabad and the major outlet (two sluice gates) feeds the canal which is an existing supply to Kaakhka town, some 20km away on the edge of the desert. The canal has been in place for many years but has fallen into disrepair and the flow now follows a meandering natural channel to the intake reservoir some 5km north of Kaakhka town.

The fall is some 400m between Hivabad and Kaakhka and the proposal is to replace the open channel with a gravity pipe system in order to avoid the estimated considerable infiltration losses. In order to mitigate these losses and an apparent decline in river flow at the border, a network of groundwater wells has been developed in Kaakhka. Although these have relatively low yields, and the energy costs are significant, they currently supply 40% of the town’s water supply. Is an improved piped water supply capable of replacing these wells completely?

MoA&WE proposes to replace this inefficient system with a pipeline directly from the river upstream, thus nearly completely eliminating infiltration losses and replacing electric pumping wells with the simplest form of renewable energy – a gravity-based system with water flowing downhill. Installation of the pipeline would obviate the need for continued operation of the wells for at least 10-15 years, by MWE forecasts, thus leading to huge electricity savings from avoided operation of pumps. Furthermore, MoA&WE foresees that the concentrated kinetic energy from the water at the end of the pipeline could be converted to electricity via a small hydropower installation, which could power the pumping station that directs water from the purification facility to the municipal distribution network. (The change in elevation from the off-take point to the purification facility is about 400 meters.)

In addition to material costs for the pipeline, UNDP will also provide in-country and international technical assistance in overall design and evaluation. MoA&WE would cover a share of the cost of installation, plus any and all expenses associated with the hydropower addition. (The project is expected to merit the investment even without hydropower.)

The UNDP/GEF project team and MoA&WE recognize that investment of project funds in a municipal project needs to be carefully justified given that agriculture accounts for much more water use in Turkmenistan and indeed is the project’s main focus. This investment/demonstration project in Kaakhka is attractive for several reasons:

  • It addresses one of MoA&WE’s urgent priorities;
  • It has a greater potential impact in terms of affected population per dollar spent, in comparison with agricultural projects;
  • At the same time, the project is still relevant to agriculture because approximately 70 percent of Kaakhka’s population works in this sector;
  • It taps a very clear and well-understood technical opportunity for efficiency improvements in terms of both water and energy. Notably, by completely removing well pumps from operation, the project is expected to generate potentially much greater energy savings than possible with many agricultural projects. If hydropower proves feasible, then of course even more benefits in terms of avoided fossil energy use and GHG emissions will be possible;
  • It embodies perhaps the simplest form of renewable energy (water flowing downhill), plus the potential for small-scale hydroelectric generation. Project linkages with hydroelectricity have been recommended as an area of potential interest during project review by the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP);
  • The project lends itself well to quantitative evaluation of energy and water savings;
  • It offers an opportunity for innovation completely without precedent in Turkmenistan;
  • There are more than 30 other communities in the Kopet Dag foothills, with a total population of nearly 150,000 people, which could replicate results from this project;
  • Lessons learned from the pipeline could be applicable also to large-scale water management and agricultural applications nationwide.

In order to proceed with topographic survey and preparation of a comprehensive feasibility study, including the design and cost-estimate works, detailed hydrological analysis (hydrological and water related calculations) is essential to inform the process of the feasibility study.

 
Duties and Responsibilities

In accordance with the above-mentioned objective of the assignment and under the supervision of the Project Manager and Portfolio Manager, the International Consultant (IC) will be tasked with the following duties and responsibilities as defined in the matrix below titled.

Key actions and deliverables for the International expert – Hydrology engineer for performing hydrological and water-related calculations for the project “Design of a gravity-flow-pressure water system for Kaakhka town”.

Key actions to be undertaken:

Action 1: Analyze data from wells located in and near Kaakhka town to confirm water usage:

  • Calculate Discharge data from the groundwater pumps ( approx. 40) in Kaakhka town (Collect on site field date in addition to the historical data that will be provided);
  • Define the Number and operational pattern of the pumps ( approx. 40);
  • Determine the extent to which the proposed source (i.e Layinsuw River originating in Iran) is likely to be able to replace the current groundwater pumped supply in Kaakhka town;
  • Make calculations of the yield of existing water supply from groundwater wells against the requirements of the major water consumers.

Key sources of information available :

  • Groundwork of the past years projects, scientific works in this field, etc.;
  • Target development programs;
  • Statistics reporting data;
  • Schemes for the integrated use and protection of water resources.

Action 2 : Patterns of Consumption:

  •  From historical and direct observation, determine likely annual pattern of consumption and water demand in Kaakhka town and its surrounds;
  • Estimate annual/seasonal distribution of supply between the groundwater pumps and the canal;
  • Estimate changes in consumption of major water users population change; industry; agriculture (data on irrigated areas, arable crops) fishery, etc;
  • Estimate water requirements for the major water users existing and taking into account the forecast of 15-20 years;
  • Estimate the intra-annual distribution of the annual water consumption for each consumer;
  • Make calculations of the yield in proposed water line supply, taking into account the yearly requirements of the major water consumers for each year of observation.

Action 3: Determine the safe yield of Layinsuw river:

  • Determine the likely safe yield of the river at the point of the off-take at Hivabad village using monthly historical data. Please note, such determination will be probabilistic considering available data and its reliability;
  • Assess the role of other demands on the river flow at the point of the off-take at Hivabad village;
  •  Describe the Layinsuw river water regime, conditions of runoff formation, intra-annual flow distribution, maximum and minimum water consumption, thermal regime, sediment run-off, ice conditions, etc;
  • Assess the possibility of withdrawal of additional runoff of Layinsuw river on the territory of the neighboring state (Iran);
  • Make assessment of changes in annual runoff of the Layinsuw river taking into account climatic factors, using and comparing data on the runoff of the analog rivers;
  • Given the available data, what is the sustainable yield of the river at the proposed offtake point off-take at Hivabad village;
  • Calculate the discharge data in the canal ( off take of Layinsuw River ) at the point it discharges into the holding reservoir north of Kaakhka town . (Collect on site field date).

Key sources of information available:

  • Historical hydrological data on the Layinsuw river;
  • Hydrological data on any analogue-rivers;
  • Large scale cartographic data;
  • Remote sensing data;
  • Current measurements of flow in the river system;
  • Project groundwork of the past years, scientific works in this field, etc.;
  • Results of hydrological observations are published in the “Hydrological Yearbooks” and are available in the monograph “Surface water resources of the USSR. Volume 14, issue 4. Basins of the Central Asian rivers. Turkmenistan Rivers”, “Main hydrological characteristics, Volume 14, issue 4″, ” Long-term data on the regime and resources of surface waters”;
  • Remote sensing data can be obtained from the public resource Google Earth or similar;
  • Reference books of the State Water Cadaster.

Action 4: Water quality:

  1.  Collect Data on historical and current water quality in the river near the offtake in Hivabad and at the intake from the canal into the reservoir north of Kaakhka (Collect on site field date);
  2. Assess any issues of water quality of the Layinsuw river surface water to be used as a potable water supply (composition of pollutants, chemical and physical properties of water, salinity, etc.);
  3. Assess any historical data on river water quality, any changes due to land use upstream and likely changes from geology/infiltration along the river route.

Action 5: Determine energy saving of using water from the proposed gravity flow pipeline instead of the pumped groundwater in Kaakhka:

  • Determine the likely reduction to be achieved in the supply from the groundwater pumped sources (In terms of the likely yield of the proposed piped water supply) and estimate any potential energy saving.

Conclusion and Recommendations

The report needs to clearly outline if the capacity of the proposed piped water flow from the Layinsuw River is capable of supplying Kaakhka town, exclusive of the pumped groundwater supply. In short, the analyses MUST answer the following questions:

  •  Would the Layinsuw River provide a sustainable yield to meet fully the demands of Kaakhka town?
  • What is the extra benefit of piping the water from the Lainsuw River compared to the existing canal?
  • If the proposed pipe flow is not likely to be adequate, what combination of pumps/wells and pipe flow would be required to meet the demands of the consumer now and in the future
  • What are the risks in moving with constructing the proposed pipelines based on flows available
  • Note: The report will contain the analyses , compiled date , relevant maps and calculations

Deliverables and timeframe:

The following deliverables and indicative schedule are expected from the consultancy contract. The final schedule will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy assignment:

Deliverable 1  

  • First draft report of all 5 actions and conclusions and recommendation mentioned above

Location: Mission to Turkmenistan (15-days)

Number of days: 20 working days

Deliverable 2

  • Final report

Location: Home based (10-days)

Number of days: within 10 working days of receipt of feedback comments from UNDP on the first draft

The contract period is 30 days in total to be undertaken within a 10-week period starting in January 2017

Payment conditions:

This is an installment-based contract that should cover the costs of consultancy required to produce the above deliverables. The final schedule of payments will be agreed upon in the beginning of consultancy. Payment will be released in two installments: 1st installment: 50% (for deliverable 1) and 2nd installment 50% (for deliverable 2) – upon timely submission of respective deliverables and their acceptance by UNDP Turkmenistan.

 
Competencies

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of and extensive work experience in the irrigation related water infrastructure projects designing and implementation;
  • Excellent training, facilitation and communication skills;
  • Results driven, ability to work under pressure and to meet required deadlines;
  • Good understanding and practice of water management, hydrology;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
 
Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Masters degree in the field of hydrology, water resources management.

Experience:

  • At least 10 years of experience in the specialty in the field of hydrology, water resources management;
  • Experience in implementation of hydrological calculations;
  • Experience in implementation of water supply-related calculations;
  • Experience in the development of project documentation and writing reports;
  • Computer skills and knowledge of the software in the field of geographic information systems (GIS), image editors (CAD); experience in computer modeling in the water sector sphere, as well as Microsoft Office is an advantage;
  • Knowledge and work experience in the countries of CIS and Central Asia is an advantage.

Language requirements:

  • Good knowledge of the Russian language; knowledge of English is an advantage.

Submission of applications:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:

All experts applying for this position are required to provide:

  • Brief (1-2 pages) description of the methodology for the assignment;
  • Financial Proposal with the references to (1) the daily rate for the assignment and within the timing scale indicated in the present TOR, and (2) any other expenses (including transportation costs, accommodation costs, the possibility of vaccination and etc.). Template of the form can be found at: http://www.tm.undp.org/content/turkmenistan/en/home/operations/jobs. The UNDP will enter into an Individual Contract based on a lump sum amounts. The financial proposal shall represent a detailed, justified and “all inclusive” amount. In order to assist UNDP in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount, including: a daily fee for the tasks and an estimated duration as specified in this announcement, travel (to and from the missions), per diems, any other possible costs (including vaccinations, dwelling, communication etc.);
  • Cover letter explaining why they are the most suitable candidate for the assignment;
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from http://europeandcis.undp.org/files/hrforms/P11_modified_for_SCs_and_ICs.doc.

Evaluation of proposals:

Individual Consultants will be evaluated based on the combined scoring methodology. When using this method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

Responsive/compliant and

Having received the highest score – out of 100 points

Out of the maximum score, the score for technical criteria equals 70% – maximum 100 points, and for financial criteria 30%.

The technical evaluation will take into account the following as per the scoring provided:

  • Education in the area of hydrology, water management – 15 pts;
  • The experience (10 years) in in the specialty in the field of hydrology, water resources management; including providing hydrological and water related calculations – 40 pts;
  • Methodology – 30 pt;
  • Good working knowledge of Russian – 10 pts
  • Knowledge of English – 5 pts;

Financial proposal – 30% of total evaluation.

Additional requirements for recommended contractor:

Recommended contractors aged 62 and older, and if the travel is required, shall undergo a full medical examination including x-ray, and obtain medical clearance from the UN-approved doctor prior to taking up their assignment. The medical examination is to be cleared by the UN physicians, and shall be paid by the consultant.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED

LANGUAGE REQUIRED