Water/Irrigation Scientist

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. 

While the first two components define the technical opportunity and priorities for replication, the second two components will seek to carry actual replication out on a national scale. The third component supports replication from the bottom up via development of action plans at the regional and district levels across the country, as well as educational outreach and capacity-building among farmers and local water-management personnel.  The fourth component will work from the top down, defining and implementing policies, programmes, and investment plans for integrated water management and SLM at the national level.

For more detailed information about this project as well as other UNDP Turkmenistan environmental projects please visit: www.tm.undp.org.

The project envisages the following activities within the Component 1 to improve the use of irrigation techniques:

Green Polygon pilot project – Technology proving research site and educational platform for water saving irrigation and SLM in agricultural croplands.

This pilot project, conceived by Ministry of Agriculture and Water Economy (MAWE) and the Water design Institute “Turkmensuvylymtaslama” (WDI), will be carried out in the Gokdepe county of Akhal province.  WDI will be the lead partner, in conjunction with local farm associations.  The work will be carried out on a 145-hectare plot owned by WDI, and already confirmed as available for this purpose.  Here, WDI and the project will deploy and evaluate various types of water saving irrigation types, including drip, rotating sprinkler, portable sprinkler, and other irrigation.   A portion of the site will also be devoted to simple improvements to furrow irrigation, using pipes to deliver water to sections of furrows, thereby reducing water losses and increasing uniformity of yields at very little cost.

The project also plans to cooperate with the Agricultrural university in Ashgabat in conducting research activities at the Research site. The Agricultural university provides 5-year Bachelors courses on agronomy and hydromelioration, which are related to project activities and . The University also has 600 ha of arable land, where the university teachers and students carry our various practical works and research activities. Cooperation with the university would allow the project to join the efforts in conducting research works, to attract local expertise and to disseminate the results of the research to a wider audience. The joint research activities with the university would also enable the UNDP to create a basis for closer cooperation and a research platform for further pioneering of an environment related masters courses at the univerity in the coming few years.

The project now plans to recruit an international scientist to perform the actions outlined below for the Research site (145 ha) in Gokdepe.

 
Duties and Responsibilities

The Water/Irrigation Scientist – Research Expert (Scientist) will report to the EERE Project Manager with overall reporting to the UNDP Programme Specialist on Environment.  The duties of the Scientist include the following:

  • Guiding the implementation of the Research plan at the Research Site as agreed by the project;
  • Provide regular technical expertise to the national irrigation engineer, site manager, research technicians and PhD students to ensure the methodologies are carefully implemented;
  • Provide technical inputs, as needed, to procurement processes and works on instalation and operation of irrigation systems at the research site;
  • Guiding PhD students and researchers on collecting data from the research trials;
  • Review the results prepared (at agreed intervals) by the national irrigation engineer, site manager, research technicians and PhD students;
  • Make predictions of soil moisture content and salinity concentration under different crops (cotton, wheat, alfalfa) using HYDRUS model using data from the research trials;
  • Developing seasonal irrigation schedules for each of 6 trials;
  • Estimating energy intensity of installing sprinkler and drip irrigation and Green House Gas Emissions;
  • Organize training of PhD students and project researchers on research methodology, using HYDRUS model and FAO ET calculation sheets;
  • Drafting 2 papers on lessons learned from the research results; 
  • Organizing round table meeting to discuss the research plans, potential partnerships and the research results
  • Developing a plan of actions for next year

Prepare a report at the end of 2017 of results achieved, lessons learned. The report have to also set out clear recommendations for improvements in 2018 and the focus of the research in 2018.

Deliverable 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:

Deliverables and timeframe:

Deliverable 1 (25%) to contain the following:

  • Seasonal irrigation schedules prepared for crops grown at the research site in 2017;
  • Predictions of soil salinity change under different irrigation schedules and water saving technologies prepared;
  • Technical advice provided to the national irrigation engineer, site manager, researchers and PhD students on methodology of the research and data collection;
  • Technical inputs provided to procurement, installation and operation of irrigation systems at the research site
  • Estimates of energy intensity for installing sprinkler and drip systems and GHGe during the installation stage prepared;
  • Technical report prepared including seasonal irrigation schedules of crops, predictions of soil salinity change, crop evapotranspiration and water use efficiency

(Tentatively due April 2017)

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan

Number of days: 20 working days (including 10-day mission)

Deliverable 2 (25%) to contain the following:

  • Regular technical expertise provided to the national irrigation engineer, site manager,  research technicians and PhD students to ensure the methodologies are carefully implemented and data is regularly collected;
  • Review provided for the  results prepared (at agreed intervals) by the national irrigation engineer, site manager,  research technicians and PhD students;
  • Technical inputs provided to procurement, installation and operation of irrigation systems at the research site;
  • Calibration of Hydrus models done using field data and revised irrigation schedules;
  • Estimates of energy intensity and GHGe at the research trials prepared;  
  • Training workshop provided for PhD students on methodology of research trials;
  • Report prepared containing comparison of soil moisture and salinity predictions and field data;
  • Report of the training course on  using HYDRUS 1D and FAO ET estimation method.

(Tentatively due June 2017)

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan

Number of days: 20 working days (including 10-day mission)

Deliverable 3 (25%) to contain the following:

  • Regular technical expertise provided to the national irrigation engineer, site manager, research technicians and PhD students to ensure the methodologies are carefully implemented and data is regularly collected;
  • Review prepared for the results prepared (at agreed intervals) by the national irrigation engineer, site manager,  research technicians and PhD students;
  • Technical inputs provided to procurement, installation and operation of irrigation systems at the research site;
  • Calibration of Hydrus models done using field data for whole cropping season;
  • Estimates of energy intensity and GHGe at the research trials prepared;  
  • Facilitation provided to organizing traveling workshop for farmers and researchers on sprinkler irrigation (Turkey /or/and Azerbaijan);
  • Facilitation provided to organizing traveling workshop for farmers and researchers on drip irrigation (Turkey, Kazakhstan  or/and Uzbekistan);
  • Draft paper based on the results of research at the Gekdepe site prepared.  

Tentatively due October 2017.

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan.

Number of days:20 working days (including 10-day mission).

Deliverable 4 (25%) to contain the following:

  • Regular technical expertise provided to the national irrigation engineer, site manager, research technicians and PhD students to ensure the methodologies are carefully implemented and data is regularly collected;
  • Technical inputs provided to procurement, installation and operation of irrigation systems at the research site;
  • Plan of actions for 2018 prepared;
  • Annual Report of results achieved, lesson learned prepared. The report will also set out clear recommendation for improvements in 2018 and the focus of the research and capacity building program in 2018;
  • Two papers submitted to an international journal (jointly with project relevant staff);

(Tentatively due December 2017)

Location: Home based and mission to Turkmenistan.

Number of days:20 working days (including 10-day mission).

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 four installments: 1st installment: 25% (for deliverable 1), 2nd installment 25% (for deliverable 2), 3rd installment 25% (for deliverable 3) and 4th installment 25% (for deliverable 4) – upon timely submission of respective deliverables and their acceptance by UNDP Turkmenistan.

 
Competencies

The consultant should have the following competencies:

Corporate Competencies:

  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, age sensitivity/adaptability;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.

Technical Competencies:

  • Experiences Scientist in water, irrigations, or hydrogeology, soil physicists or related  areas;
  • Good understanding of climate change issues and traditional water collection and supply techniques under limited water availability;
  • Higher degree in agriculture, soil science, cropland irrigation or related field.

Functional competencies:

  • Strong communication and analytical skills;
  • Excellent ability to communicate in English both written and spoken;
  • Good writing skills and computer literacy;
  • Ability to meet deadlines;
  • Excellent organizational, communicative, time-management and teamwork skills.

Personal Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity and ethical standards;
  • Positive, constructive attitude to work.
 
Required Skills and Experience

Education:                

  • Postgraduate Degree in the field of agriculture or water engineering or similar filed related to soil physics and/or water management.

Experience:               

  • At least 10 years of practical experience (including university lecturing) in the design and/or implementation of field and/or lab research related to agriculture irrigation, soil salinity and degradation issues and/or water management systems; 
  • Demonstrated experience in improving water management practices;
  • Working experience in developing countries and CIS countries is an asset.

Language requirements:     

  • Proficiency in English and Russian, excellent analytical and presentation skills.

Others:                      

  • Good understanding of soil physics and/or subsoil drainage water related issues. Outstanding time-management, organizational and interpersonal skills.

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.), round-trip tickets and concomitant terminal expenses. 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 (currently, DSA for Ashgabat stands at 249 USD per day), 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:

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 70 points, and for financial criteria 30% – maximum 30 points.

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

a)        Technical criteria -70%, which includes:

  • Education in the field of agriculture or water engineering or similar filed related to soil physics and/or water management -20 points
  • Professional experience (including university lecturing)- 20 points
  • Demonstrated experience in improving water management practices-10 points
  • Working experience in developing countries and CIS countries is an asset- 20points
  • Methodology – 20 points
  • Additional skills (languages, etc.) – 10 points

    b)     Lowest – price proposal – 30%

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