Catchment Management Scientist

Thames Water

Reading, , GB

About the role:

This role is a 6-month fixed term contract/secondment working as part of the Catchment Projects Team within Scientific and Environmental Assurance. You will be responsible for undertaking catchment management activities, including delivering Thames Water’s Catchment Fund, metaldehyde mitigation projects and abstraction management.  The aim is to reduce diffuse pollution of water, improve raw water quality and ensure compliance with drinking water standards in the Thames region.

Ad-hoc travel will be required for meetings and/or farm visits.

Working in a collaborative team, key areas of accountability will include:

  • Delivery of the Water Industry National Environment Programme water quality investigations and schemes, regulated by the Environment Agency, focussing on diffuse pollution of surface water from pesticides and groundwater from nitrate. This will include awareness-raising activity and involvement with the implementation of Thames Water’s Catchment Fund targeted at protecting drinking water quality from these pollutants.
  • Delivery of Thames Water’s Undertaking activity for metaldehyde, regulated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, including our mitigation projects with farmers and internal abstraction management programme.
  • Working with third party agricultural specialists who are engaging with farmers on behalf of Thames Water to encourage them to take part in our initiatives to protect water, including defining the scope of work and keeping track of progress.
  • Understanding how agriculture impacts on the quality of drinking water sources, analysing and interpreting large water quality datasets, communicating findings to stakeholders and producing internal and external reports.
  • Working with the agricultural sector, including pesticide manufacturers and users, to raise awareness of water quality issues and develop catchment management activities.
  • Providing technical support such as undertaking media releases, responding to customer enquiries and supporting the business during pollution events.
  • Supporting strategic drinking water research needs.
  • Taking water samples from rivers as part of Thames Water’s pesticide monitoring programme.

To be successful, you will have the following skills and experience:

  • Graduate, or equivalent, in environmental sciences or agricultural studies
  • An understanding of how pesticides and nitrate can impact our river and groundwater environments is preferable.
  • Previous agricultural or catchment management experience is desirable.
  • Ability to apply knowledge and use your communication skills to effectively influence a range of stakeholders involved in the agricultural industry.
  • Ability to track work being delivered by third parties in terms of quality of outputs and deadlines.
  • Experience with GIS is desirable.
  • Confident working autonomously and good organisational, communication and interpersonal skills are crucial, as you will be liaising with internal and external stakeholders on a day to day basis.
  • Access to a van will be provided and a full driving licence is required for this role as some of the work will be field based within the Thames Water catchment area.

Interviews will be held week commencing 17th May 2021

What’s in it for you?

This is a great opportunity to combine knowledge of diffuse pollution and how catchment activities can impact water quality; applying that knowledge to propose sustainable solutions that protect drinking water sources and ensure the quality of drinking water supplies.

The role is varied, combining scientific elements (e.g. interpreting water quality data, understanding land management in the catchment), opportunities for project management working with third party project partners and engaging with internal stakeholders in other parts of the business and external stakeholders such as farmers, agronomists, catchment groups, other water companies and the Environment Agency.

Our competitive salary package includes an excellent contributory pension, 26 days holiday per year increasing to 30 with the length of service and a wider benefits scheme. This includes an annual pay review, season ticket loans, voucher scheme giving you money off in major retail outlets, loyalty awards for continuous service plus much more, including our referral scheme, where you can receive £750 for helping someone get a permanent position within the company.  Flexible hours will be considered for this role.

We’re also proud to be here for our local community, offering everyone two days paid volunteer leave a year, as well as proudly supporting a lot of local events and charities. 

Click here to find out more about working at Thames Water

About us:

Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater company. We make a daily difference to millions of customers by supplying 2.7 billion litres of world-class water to around 10 million homes.  

As our world changes, the need to take care of our most precious resource is greater than ever, both locally and globally. That’s why, at Thames Water, every one of our actions, big and small, matters every day. Water is essential to daily life, and that means our business is always open. We’re passionate about providing world-class tap water, now and for the future.

We’re also turning waste into power, self-generating 20% of the energy we use and, in turn, doing our bit for the planet. We’re reducing plastic waste by celebrating our tap water and rolling out an ambitious water fountain project. We’re using our voice to lobby for change and partnering with WaterAid to provide clean water to the world’s poorest communities.

Together, we’re building a better future for our customers, our region and our planet.

Thames Water is a unique, rewarding and diverse place to work. If you join our team, you’ll enjoy fast-tracked career opportunities, flexible working arrangements and unparalleled benefits. We’re also proud to be an equal opportunity employer, Stonewall Diversity Champion and Disability Confident Leader, welcoming individuals from all walks of life and leading the way with an award-winning mental health and wellbeing strategy.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development