Water Policy Analyst

Western Resource Advocates

See description, , US

Position Summary

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a strategic and driven professional to develop and advocate for sustainable municipal water management policies and programs, and to provide technical expertise to build resilient and vibrant communities while protecting our rivers and lakes. As drought and growing population put the squeeze on water supplies, cities and towns across the West, whether urban, suburban or rural, need the tools and training to use water more efficiently so their communities thrive. The Water Policy Analyst will help shape responsible local to state wide water management policies and programs that ensure water security in the face of growing populations and climate change. Reporting to WRA’s other Water Policy Analyst, this position provides an exciting opportunity to join a non-profit dedicated to advancing sound and equitable conservation practices. 

About Western Resource Advocates

Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. We use law, science, and economics to craft innovative solutions to the most pressing conservation issues in the region within three core program areas: Clean Energy, Healthy Rivers and Western Lands.

In the face of population growth and climate change, the Western United States needs a strong and effective advocacy voice at the regional level to address changes that are already underway and to steer the West towards a sustainable future. WRA has aggressive plans to tackle these challenges. We envision a future in the West where:

  • Western rivers and lakes will have abundant clean water to support habitat for fish and wildlife, communities and agriculture, and world class recreational opportunities. The Colorado River will flow to the sea;
  • Our homes, buildings and transportation systems will be powered by clean energy. The West will prosper in a zero-carbon economy;
  • Half of western landscapes and habitat will be protected and connected to support thriving wildlife populations and unparalleled opportunities to enjoy the West’s natural beauty; and
  • The West will have clean air and clean water to support healthy communities and vital habitat.


The position has the option to start work remotely from anywhere along Colorado’s Front Range, or from WRA’s Boulder or Denver office. WRA employees are strongly encouraged to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, we anticipate this position would work at least a few days a week from WRA’s Boulder or Denver office.

Responsibilities and Activities


  • Work with stakeholders across our western states to develop and advocate for new, equitable, viable, and holistic municipal water management policies and practices at the state and local level
  • Research and analyze water policies, programs, and resources that advance local and state level sustainable water management practices
  • Work closely with community leaders and a diverse set of stakeholders to draft urban water conservation and land-use planning codes, ordinances, and statutes
  • Track regulatory proceedings and other state-level forums to proactively identify opportunities to advance WRA’s objectives
  • Help build equitable access to conservation policies and practices for historically under-served communities


  • Develop and present technical reports and research findings with utilities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other partners, in various venues, including at conferences
  • Identify and manage effective coalitions of diverse partners to achieve conservation results


  • Collaborate with WRA’s Healthy Rivers Program and Communications staff to produce and share materials that effectively communicate our mission, goals and the results of our work to external audiences
  • Collaborate with WRA’s Government Affairs Team for legislative efforts
  • Collaborate with WRA’s Development Team to identify and pursue grant and other funding opportunities
  • With team members, help identify how populations and communities historically excluded from conservation policies and practices are included in policy and practice development and benefit from their application

Required Qualifications


  • Relevant experience, some of which may include topic-specific academic experience
  • Proficiency in urban water supply and demand issues
  • Excellent research and analytical skills based, in part, on technical experience (e.g., in a field like engineering, physics, economics, environmental studies and/or public policy)


  • Strong written capabilities, as this position will write reports as well as regulatory and legislative content
  • Motivated self-starter who can develop strong and trusted networks of stakeholders
  • Strong verbal communication abilities, including public speaking, as this position will work with a wide array of internal staff and a variety of external partners and decision-makers
  • Ability to translate complicated technical concepts into accessible written and spoken content
  • Track record of cultural adaptivity for working with communities across socio-economic, geographic, and racial and ethnic diversity


  • Project management experience, and ability to assist with grant writing
  • Strong organizational skills, with attention to detail, able to meet deadlines, and follow-through


  • Willingness to travel 10% of time (Post COVID-19)

Additional Skills and Learning Opportunities

This section is made up of skills that a candidate may or may not come in with. They are not required and candidates who do not possess these skills yet, should not be discouraged from applying.

  • Well-connected within Colorado and other Western states’ water community
  • Experience with strategic planning

Salary and Benefits

Salary range for this position is $55,000-$65,000; salary depends on relevant experience and new staff rarely start at the top of the range. WRA’s excellent benefits package includes health, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, life & disability insurance, 3 weeks paid vacation leave, sick leave, parental leave, sabbatical leave after five years; and an RTD EcoPass for staff in the Denver/Boulder metro area. Position is full-time exempt.

Deadline to Apply: Open until filled, with priority review of applications starting on Monday, March 29, 2021

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our business strategy, mission and vision. We welcome candidates from an array of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. Learn more about our commitment here: https://westernresourceadvocates.org/#commitment-to-diversity. 

Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion,  gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.

Apply to be WRA’s Water Policy Analyst!

Thank you for your interest in the Water Policy Analyst role with Western Resource Advocates. Complete the two forms below to apply for the position. You will need to upload the following in PDF format:

    • Cover letter to the attention of Meagan Kadlec, Recruitment and Hiring Manager, describing your relevant qualifications and the reason for your interest in WRA and this position;
    • Resume;
    • Writing sample (sole authorship) up to five pages long; and
    • Three references, including at least one former supervisor, with contact information and a brief description of your relationship. (WRA will not contact references without first checking with the applicant.)