Water Reservation Technician

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
Miles City, MT, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

OUR MISSION: To help ensure that Montana's land and water resources provide benefits for present and future generations. http://www.dnrc.mt.gov/ This position is located in Miles City.

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.

The Conservation Districts Bureau provides administrative, technical, financial, and legal assistance to 58 conservation districts. Conservation districts are governed by a locally elected and appointed board that follow state law to carry out local conservation work. These activities vary widely from conservation district to conservation district, but generally include water reservation administration, conservation education, stream restoration, saline seep reclamation, conservation demonstration projects, tree planting, and general technical assistance to landowners for the adoption of conservation practices. Conservation districts also administer the streambed and land preservation act, a permit program for projects undertaken on or near streams and rivers.

Job Overview:  Water reservations are water rights granted in the late 1970’s and early 1990’s to conservation districts for agricultural uses. The water reservation program technician assists conservation districts in processing reserved water use applications, provides administrative assistance to the water reservation program specialist, and answers technical and program questions. provides educational water use and water reservation activities in the Yellowstone River, Little Missouri River, and Missouri River basins.

Essential Functions (Major Duties or Responsibilities):  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.

This position provides a range of administrative, technical, and educational services to conservation districts for the implementation and administration of the water reservation program.  This position works under the direction and supervision of the water reservation program specialist.

Attends conservation district meetings to provide consultation, information, and advice about the program, writes letters to applicants for information necessary to complete a reserved water use application.

Gathers data needed for technical review, updates maps, coordinates information exchange for meeting legal requirements for the processing of reserved water use applications as requested by the water reservation program specialist. Updates databases, issues public notices, and updates and modernizes forms, guidelines and manuals for program implementation, and information for the public to apply to the program.  Develops maps and documentation necessary for the water reservation specialist to analyze proposed irrigation projects. This includes mapping irrigation projects on quad maps and aerial photos, determining legal description of point of diversion and place of use; mapping the dimensions of irrigation delivery and under the direction of the water reservation specialist, make recommendations to CDs on approval, modification, or denial of irrigation project design; and mapping to determine the number of irrigated acres to authorize for reserved water use.

Works with Conservation Districts Bureau program specialist in Helena to update and modernize information on the bureau’s website, creates on-line forms, creates files, reports, and manages water reservation records and files. Provides direction and support to conservation districts on public involvement and implementation processes, collects data and distributes reports as directed by conservation districts and the water reservation specialist.

Identify conservation district and public needs, and plans, coordinates, and participates in public meetings to provide advice, solicit feedback, and promote productive information exchange on water reservation issues. Answers program questions from the public and conservation district, develops public information such as news articles, displays, brochures, webinars, and conservation district workshops.

General conservation district assistance - Because this position will be in close contact with conservation districts, the water reservation technician will be responsible for developing relationships with conservation district supervisors and administrators. This position will provide limited administrative services, answering questions about general conservation district authorities and responsibilities, exchanging information among and between conservation districts, providing planning assistance, and providing information about DNRC programs.   

Other Duties as Assigned - Performs a variety of other duties as assigned by the bureau chief and supervisor.  This includes coordinating special projects and events; filling in for coworkers or the supervisor during absences; and attending training and professional development activities.

Education & Experience - The position requires two years of experience in program management, water rights, or water resource management. Conservation district experience is helpful.

This agency will accept alternative methods of obtaining necessary qualifications.  Examples include:  A post-graduate degree (e.g., Master’s or Doctorate) in a directly-related field may substitute for up to one year of the experience requirement.

This agency will substitute a bachelor’s degree with 4 years of experience with conservation districts, a water rights position, or similar position as long as the experience establishes a demonstrated ability to establish effective working relationships and the meets the skill and ability requirements of the job.

HELPFUL HINT: You must check the “relevant document” box to ensure your attachments are uploading correctly to the specific application.

Application Materials Required:

Please submit your resume, coverletter, references and answers to the following supplemental qusitons.

  1. Describe your knowledge of and experience with agricultural irrigation including different systems and/or system designs.
  2. Describe your knowledge of and experience with Montana water rights or the water use act in general.
  3. Describe your thoughts about public service.


Required knowledge, skills, and abilities:

The knowledge of principles and practices of agricultural science, soils and crops, irrigation, and public program administration is preferred. Knowledge of conservation districts, water and soil conservation, Montana water law and administrative rules is preferred. Skills in map development and use, GIS, and public presentation is required.

The ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with stakeholders, conservation districts, and agencies and in office management and supervision is key to the success of the person in this position and is required.

The ability to use spreadsheet, database, and word processing software; work independently and as a team member; ability to gather data to support a reserved water use application decision; organizational skills; public presentations; and excellent oral and written skills is required.

The position requires the understanding of assistance in the resolution of technical issues and administrative issues; management of multiple projects; and acting as a liaison between conservation districts, applicants, and agencies to ensure compliance with the program.

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