U.K. nationals: Hydrology & Water Resources Advisor

Natural Resources Wales

North Wales, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Job context

The natural resources in Wales are fantastic – rugged mountains and woodlands, beautiful landscapes and coastlines, and amazing wildlife.

They are vital for our survival and provide us with the basic things we need to live: clean air, clean water, and food. They create jobs for thousands of people like farmers, foresters, and tourist operators, creating wealth and prosperity.

They give us all a better quality of life and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors against a backdrop of Wales’ natural beauty and heritage. People come from far and wide to experience them. They are intrinsically linked with Welsh culture and language.

It’s our job in Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to look after these natural resources and what they provide for us: to help reduce the risk to people and properties of flooding and pollution; to secure proper use of water resources, to look after special places for well-being, wildlife and timber; and to work with others to help us all to manage them sustainably. The people who work here in NRW have the knowledge, expertise, and passion to help make the sustainable management of natural resources a reality.

The post holder will join a team providing a hydrology, water resource assessment, flood risk assessment and geomorphology service across North West and North East Wales including the Upper Severn Area. The team also manage day to day operations for the Dee Regulation Scheme managing flows in the Dee from Bala down to Chester Weir.

The post holder will provide a comprehensive technical hydrology and water resource management support service, to internal customers and partners, with a particular focus on water resource, and flood and coastal risk management teams.

You will produce reports to inform and to support decisions made across NRW, that rely on an understanding of river flows and water levels, that impact on peoples wellbeing and on the environment.

Applying for this post

The following categories will be used to assess the quality of applications both at sift and interview. Please read the whole of the Role Description to ascertain at what level this information needs to be presented.

  • Managing Resources (non-financial and/or financial)
  • Forward Thinking
  • Analysing and Judgement
  • Collaborating with others
  • Advising and Influencing
  • Customer Focus
  • Qualifications and Skills

Job Purpose:

The post holder will provide a comprehensive technical hydrology and water resource management support service, to internal customers and partners, with a particular focus on water resource, and flood and coastal risk management teams.  

Consider the principles of SMNR and Well-being of Future Generations Act are considered in all decision making. 

Key Job Accountabilities:

  • Analyse, interpret and prepare reports on technical scientific data, providing good quality information to the relevant teams, to support their decisions and to help them to protect the environment. 
  • Investigate and comment on referred permit applications, providing a technical response to NRW permitting centre, authorities, developers, NRM teams in line with current NRW policy, to influence and promote sustainable permitting and development.  
  • Respond to internal requests for hydrological assessments for flood risk operational and consenting purposes (including flood flow audits for Flood Consequences Assessments & Flood Defence Consents, flood estimates for Flood Risk Mapping, hydrological impact assessments for abstraction and impoundment licensing and Town & Country Planning.  
  • Co-ordinate and develop environmental improvements plans, in accordance with national legislation and policies to ensure that NRW is compliant. 
  • Support the technical audit of Water Co. Plans and Drought plans by analysing and commenting on hydrological and hydraulic implications. 
  • Contribute to the successful development and implementation of emergency plans including drought and flood incident management. 
  • Quality assure water resource data and information, and the associated storage and retrieval systems. Ensure that information is up to date and fit for purpose. Support management of data on internal and “national” archives. 
  • Support health & safety best practice by actively promoting awareness and ensuring the provision of safe working practices to comply with Environment Agency policies and standards. 
  • Support the management of the River Dee to ensure the effective, timely and safe response to incidents and other operational requirements associated with flow management and flood warning in the catchment.

Key Job Qualifications or Knowledge:

  1. Degree in relevant scientific subject (e.g. physical geography, environment science or civil engineering).   
  2. Graduate member of appropriate professional body (e.g. CIWEM or ICE) working towards becoming chartered. 
  3. Able to demonstrate competency in hydrological science and have the ability to apply practically and innovatively at an operational level.  Experience will have been gained over and number of years to include low flow estimation using hydrological software and gauged data and high flow estimation using a range of techniques which specifically includes the use of the Flood Estimation Handbook software for statistical analysis. 
  4. Able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of field hydrometry and be able to interpret, manage, analyse and quality assure hydrometric data through the use of database, telemetry systems and statistical analysis techniques. 
  5. Able to demonstrate an understanding of open channel hydraulics and the principles of hydraulic modelling would be an advantage as would some ability in the use of river modelling software such as HEC RAS.   
  6. Understanding of topographic surveying techniques. 
  7. Demonstrable experience in technical report writing.
  8. Experience of coaching/mentoring people and the development of “junior” members of staff. 
  9. Full UK driving licence. 

What you will do

You will provide expertise to a defined area or function undertaking a range of work that supports regulation and environmental responsibilities of NRW.

You may be involved in work relating to incident response.

You will refer to procedure manuals, relevant statutory codes and legislation in undertaking the work, undertaking analysis and interpreting requirements as necessary.

You will process and analyse non-routine information that has an element of complexity and will be of a technical nature.

You will undertake work within a discrete area although the work has the potential, if carried out incorrectly, to impact across other subject areas and third parties.

You will provide guidance to less experienced colleagues in the resolution of problems.

You will have oversight of contractors and the associated costs.

You will determine how best to achieve results by applying technical judgment and creativity, altering priorities if there are conflicting demands.

You will be responsible for the safe use and keeping of tools and equipment required to undertake your role.

Who you will be working with

You will supervise others in specific activities or pieces of work.

You will work with a range of people across NRW functions, together with external parties.

Where you will be working

Your role will be primarily office based but may entail travel between different NRW locations, as well as working at partner organisations and other premises.

You will also work outdoors at different sites and may be exposed to unpleasant conditions from time to time.

What knowledge and skills you need

You will have a degree level qualification in a relevant subject area or the equivalent level of knowledge.

You will have subject matter expertise within a defined area that enables you to provide guidance to others.

You may not be a subject matter expert in all areas but will have a sound understanding and appreciation of the work of the wider function.

You will have good literacy, numeracy and communication skills including well developed customer facing skills.

You will have analytical skills that enables you to process and analyse technical information.

You will have good inter-personal and influencing skills and able develop and sustain good working relationships.

You will, ideally, have previous supervisory experience.

Other information relevant to the job:

You will realise your contribution by applying the principles of SMNR to your work; in how you think, plan and deliver activities.

You will be expected to work with teams and individuals from across NRW, sharing your expertise and insight to solve complex problems. You will support collaborative working with partners and sector organisations, focussing on shared priorities.

You are responsible for complying with the policies, procedures and processes that relate to your role.

You are responsible for ensuring that all financial transactions undertaken by yourself represent value for money and meet the requirements of the organisation.

NRW is a Category 1 responder under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), and this means we have a duty to work with partners to prepare for and respond to emergencies and incidents covered by the Act.  All staff may be required to undertake activities, at a level commensurate with the skills and experience required by their role, to assist in ensuring this duty is undertaken.

This role description sets out a broad indication of the role, where it sits within the overall NRW structure and indicative expectations of the post holder. It is not intended to provide a detailed description of all tasks and activities. This document should be read in conjunction with the job specific Personal Development Plan which sets out the specific activities and projects to be delivered during the year.

Before applying for this role please read the candidate guidance


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