Colorado residents: DWR - Hydrographer/Deputy Water Commissioner (EPST II)

Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Weld County, CO, USA 🇺🇸

  • Salary: $5,214.00 – $7,702.00 Monthly
  • Location: Weld County, CO
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Job Number: PEA 00005 02/24
  • Department: Department of Natural Resources
  • Division: Division of Water Resources
  • Opening Date: 03/01/2024
  • Closing Date: 3/17/2024 11:59 PM Mountain
  • FLSA: Determined by Position
  • Primary Physical Work Address: 1809 56th Avenue Greeley, CO 80634
  • Hiring Pay Rate: Employees new to State Government will be paid on a bi-weekly basis.
  • FLSA Status: Non-Exempt; position is eligible for overtime compensation.

Department Information

OPEN ONLY TO CURRENT RESIDENTS OF COLORADO Are you interested in investing in a career that makes a difference?
Consider joining the dedicated people of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. It’s our mission to manage and conserve Colorado’s natural resources for the benefit of people today – and tomorrow. That means we have to balance development with conservation so the state we all love provides similar opportunities for our children and their children.

We invite you to explore our website at to find out more about the work we do to manage Colorado’s natural resources for today – and tomorrow.

The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply.

In addition to offering rewarding, meaningful work, we offer:

  • Medical and Dental plans
  • Strong, flexible retirement plans including PERA Defined Benefit Plan or PERA Defined Contribution Plan, plus pre-tax 401K and 457 plans
  • Paid life insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability coverage
  • Employee Wellness programs
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Health Savings Accounts
  • 11 paid holidays per year plus generous vacation and sick leave
  • Flexible work schedule options and remote-work options
  • Career advancement opportunities throughout the State system

Some positions may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. For more information, go to:!/pslf/launch

Division of Water Resources (DWR):

State Engineer’s Office

Our mission is to administer the waters of the State to maximize lawful beneficial use, ensure that dams and water wells are properly constructed and safe, and provide information about water resources to the public. Division of Water Resources.

This work unit consist of both hydrographic and surface water commissioner duties. Both the hydrographic and surface water commissioner work units are critical to the administration of Colorado water rights and interstate compacts.  

The hydrographic program provides the information used to determine the daily surface water supply. The data generated by the hydrography program is also used by many other interested parties including water rights owners and users, as well as modelers needing to inform policy analysts and decision makers regarding the changes in Colorado stream volumes, use, and releases. 

This work unit exists to serve the needs of the public by measuring streamflow and maintaining measurement, recording and infrastructure utilized to provide data of water diverted from streams under the Colorado water rights system. The unit maintains the physical infrastructure used to measure, record and report streamflows and diversions from the streams that are used by DWR staff and in many instances reported publicly on the Colorado DWR web site. This work unit acts as an expert regarding the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of measurement structures in the streams, diversions and releases of water from and to the streams critical to DWR’s administration of water rights, diversions and Compacts.

The deputy water commissioner work unit assists in the administration the waters of the South Platte River basin in accordance with the priority system and interstate compacts to maximize the beneficial use of water in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes, court decrees, and the State Engineer’s policies, rules, and regulations.. Water Commissioners and other DWR staff assist the State and Division Engineer in their statutorily obligated efforts to collect this information and compile in official annual diversion records the amount of water diverted from the public streams and other information deemed relevant to benefit the state.

Description of Job

This position exists to measure and evaluate data to determine the stream flow quantity at assigned stream gaging stations and to maintain such gages; to measure water flow in canals and ditches; to service, calibrate, monitor, and repair all equipment associated with stream gaging stations including electronic telemetry equipment; and to evaluate and compile official flow records for state and federal publication. Additionally, this position will assist the water commissioner in former Water Districts 1 and 64 in the distribution, control and regulation of waters in that district pursuant to water court decrees and applicable statutes.

Specific job duties include but are not limited to:

Water Administration/Regulation

  • In collaboration with Lead Water Commissioner, controls and regulates the distribution of water from streams and rivers to numerous water diversion structures, primarily ditches and reservoirs. 
  • Estimates/calculates available natural flow and administers inflow to each structure.  
  • Determines release and proper assessment of transit losses through the stream system, which includes replacement for calculated evaporation to protect direct flow water rights. 
  • Monitors structures and applies comprehensive knowledge of the priority system and hydrologic factors within the district. 

Water Enforcement

  • Enforces Colorado water law and policies of the State Engineer. Regulates diversion of water of the state by managing headgates, issuing orders, and restricting diversions pursuant to section 37-92-502, Colorado Revised Statutes, and other relative statutes. 
  • Directs the release of water stored in reservoirs out of priority and statutorily authorized right of trespass to accomplish duties including investigations. 
  • Reports and submits recommendations to the Division Engineer for legal orders that may pertain to undecreed diversions of surface water and other issues.    

Water Diversion Measurement and Records

  • Determines and compiles official records of diversions based upon priority of water rights, reservoir releases, augmentation and exchange water use by observation of structures, collection of data, analysis and calculation of water distributed.    
  •  Identifies (calibrates) several water measurement structures to determine structure type, adequacy of installation and maintenance.          
  • Determines water flow using standard procedures when no measuring device exists.  Inputs diversion record data into selected computer systems on a schedule determined by the Division Engineer.

Public Interaction

  • Investigates, counsels, and mediates water right disputes, applying principles of Colorado Revised Statutes and policies of the State Engineer.  
  • Participates in public/private meetings to provide data and information, field questions, and/or mitigate concerns.

Water Measurement and Collection of Data

  • Monitors flow of water using a variety of water measurement structures. Identifies (calibrates) several types of water measurement structures to determine structure type, adequacy of installation and maintenance. 
  • Establish stage-discharge relationships and compute discharge using hydraulic formulas for flumes, weirs, culverts, contracted openings, spillways or conveyance structures. This requires computation of discharge using in-stream measurements of velocities and flow cross sections. Computed discharge is analyzed, verified and compared with any established relationship at the station to adjust to existing conditions. 
  • Evaluate, verify and compile water flow data using graphical and computer analysis to create an accurate official report of daily discharge for publication. 
  • Inspect, service, and calibrate all mechanical and electronic telemetry equipment relevant to the gaging station to ensure the quality and availability of water flow data. 
  • Inspect flumes and weirs for accurate flow measurement and prepare reports on problems and recommendations for solutions.  
  • Determines water flow using standard procedures where no measuring device exists.
  • Analyze previously collected data and prepare annual reports of daily streamflow at assigned gaging stations for internal use and provide reports to cooperators, other states, and other agencies for use in litigation, interstate compact regulation, and interagency operational agreements. 
  • Collect and analyze data received from the satellite data reporting system and evaluate system diagnostics to detect errors in data transmission or data quality. Separate decoding (office software) problems from equipment (field hardware) and physical gage operation problems at  gaging stations. 

Field Inspection & Documentation

  • Accomplishes and adequately documents field inspections regarding water administration matters.  
  • Reviews field inspections and analyzes applications to determine water rights, well permits, stock tanks, and dams which includes compiling information for the Division Engineer and or water court. 

Project and Time Management:

  • Independently formulates short-term and long-term schedules to organize and execute work tasks by planning and managing available resources. 
  • Plans for efficient day-to-day operations by scheduling meetings to assure completion of work tasks and to apprise of operational concerns. 
  • Coordinates with Lead Water Commissioner and Lead Hydrographer regarding short and long-term duties, deadlines, changes of priorities, or deadline modification. 

Other duties as assigned. 

Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights


Minimum Qualifications:Five years of work experience assisting engineers, scientists, or technicians with work related to engineering or physical science, which involves the use, measurement, and/or control or distribution of surface water or groundwater. 
High school diploma or GED
Five years of related education and/work experience will substitute on a year-for-year basis.

Experience as a ditch rider, rancher or farmer that included regulating and measuring water flow through headgates, canals or streams, or experience managing irrigation and irrigation systems, scientific field investigations, municipal water operations, or other experience related water or natural resources is considered related experience. Training and/or experience in surface water measurements in streams, ditches, etc.  

Please note: The required experience must be substantiated within the work experience section of your application. Your resume will not be reviewed to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications; only the work experience section of your application will be reviewed to determine this. “See Resume” statements on the application will not be accepted. In addition, part-time work will be prorated.

If you are using a degree to substitute for the required experience, you may be required to provide copies of your educational transcripts for verification of your qualifications if requested. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Current or former State experience relevant to this position.
  • Knowledge and experience with Colorado water rights. 
  • Water administration experience. 
  • Proficiency and knowledge in surface water measurement techniques and theory.
  • Experience with a variety of different surface water measurement structures, recording device technology, and functionality. 
  • Good understanding of mathematics, algebra or higher. 
  • Excellent public service skills. 
  • Proficient in the use of computers, including manipulation of data in spreadsheets. 
  • Proficiency with Google and Microsoft suites. 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and/or Google Sheets. 
  • Other experience relevant to the use or management of water resources.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. 
  • Familiarity with Weld County. 

The current work arrangement for this position is as follows:
 (Please note, this arrangement can be subject to change)

Hybrid schedule – working from a home office located within or within close proximity to Weld County with field duties and frequent travel to the Greeley office as needed.  
(This position will at times have a responsibility to report to work during emergencies, including nights, weekends, and holidays as needed. The ideal candidate must be willing to live within thirty (60) minutes’ driving time, under normal weather conditions, of where the work station and/or equipment is located.)

Conditions of Employment: 

  • Former State employees who were disciplinarily terminated or resigned in lieu of termination must disclose the information on the application and provide an explanation why the prior termination or resignation should not disqualify their application from the current position.  (Please Note: Absent extraordinary circumstances, prior disciplinary termination or resignation in lieu of termination will disqualify the applicant from future State employment with DNR). 
  • Must be willing and able to possess and maintain a State of Colorado Driver’s License
  • Must be willing and able to travel off road in a 4 wheel-drive vehicle or ATV daily throughout the water districts and assigned work area. 
  • Must have the ability to report to the work location that can include off-road conditions and rugged terrain. 
  • Must have the ability to independently access remote locations to complete work assignments within the district. 
  • Must be willing and able to spend up to several hours per day standing and/or climbing up and down hills. 
  • Must be willing and able to perform duties seven days a week if water conditions warrant during the irrigation season. 
  • Must be willing and able to work overtime. 
  • Must be willing and able to work outdoors in varying terrain and weather conditions, walk long distances through rough terrain, cross over barbed wire fences, as well as climb in and out of well vaults, well houses and other places where spiders, mice, snakes or other critters may be encountered. 
  • Must be willing to work in close/tight/damp areas and may encounter bears, snakes, mice, and other outdoor animals. 
  • Must be willing and able to work on weekends and holidays during the peak season as necessary. 
  • Must be willing and able to work alone in remote areas. 
  • Must be willing and able to perform physical tasks, which may include lifting up to 100 lbs frequently. 
  • Must be prepared to defend and support actions and records in depositions or court testimony. 
  • Must be able to address frequent and detailed inquiries from attorneys, professional engineers and hydrologists from government and private agencies. 
  • Must be willing and able to work around and wade into and across rivers and streams daily. Must be able to swim in rivers and other water bodies if necessary. 

It is recommended that you contact the Human Resources Specialist listed below to resolve issues related to your possession of minimum qualifications. However, if you receive notice that you have been eliminated from consideration for this position, you may file an appeal with the State Personnel Board or request a review by the State Personnel Director.

An appeal or review must be submitted on the official appeal form, signed by you or your representative. This form must be delivered to the State Personnel Board by email, US Mail, faxed or hand delivered within ten (10) calendar days from your receipt of notice or acknowledgement of the department’s action.

For more information about the appeals process, the official appeal form, and how to deliver it to the State Personnel Board go to or refer to 4 Colorado Code of Regulations (CCR) 801-1, State Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director’s Administrative Procedures, Chapter 8, Resolution of Appeals and Disputes, at under Rules.

Supplemental Information

The Assessment Process 

  • All applications received by the closing of this announcement will be reviewed by an HR Specialist against the Minimum Qualifications in this announcement. 
  • Colorado Revised Statutes require that state employees are hired and promoted based on merit and fitness through a comparative analysis process. Part of, or all of, the comparative analysis for this position will be a structured application review by Subject Matter Experts.
  • Resumes, cover letters and other attachments are not considered as part of initial reviews, therefore, it is important to document in your application your education, experience, minimum qualifications, and preferred qualifications as outlined in the job announcement
  • Please thoroughly answer all supplemental questions (if listed) since question responses may be evaluated for content, writing ability, spelling, grammar, and effective communication. 
  • This recruitment may involve additional testing and/or exams to arrive at the top group for interviews.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The State of Colorado believes that equity, diversity, and inclusion drive our success, and we encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and abilities to apply. The State of Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to building inclusive, innovative work environments with employees who reflect our communities and enthusiastically serve them. Therefore, in all aspects of the employment process, we provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

The Department of Natural Resources is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including completing the application process, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, participating in the employee selection process, and/or to perform essential job functions where the requested accommodation does not impose an undue hardship. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation to ensure you have a positive experience applying or interviewing for this position, please direct your inquiries to our ADAAA Coordinator, Anna Kargobai-Murray, at

ADAAA Accommodations

Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Anna Kargobai-Murray at at least five business days before the date that any accommodation will be required to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.


The Department of Natural Resources participates in E-Verify in accordance with the program’s Right to Work for all newly-hired employees. Employees are queried through the electronic system established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify identity and employment eligibility. You may complete section 1 of the I-9 form upon your acceptance of a job offer letter, but no later than your first day of employment and in addition, on your first day, but no later than the third day, you are required to submit original documents to verify your eligibility to work in the U.S. Learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities.

Toll–Free Applicant Support – Technical Help

If you experience technical difficulty with the NEOGOV system (e.g. uploading or attaching documents to your online application) call NEOGOV at 855-524-5627, Mon-Fri between 6 am and 6 pm (Pacific Time). The Human Resources Office will be unable to assist with technical issues.   Helpful hints: If you are having difficulty uploading or attaching documents to your application, ensure your documents are PDF or Microsoft Word files and close the document before you attempt to upload it.

Agency: State of Colorado

Address: See the full announcement by clicking
the “Printer” icon located above the job title
Location varies by announcement, Colorado, —






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