Water Quality Expert

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Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

UNOPS – East Africa Hub

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, UNOPS East Africa Hub manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The East Africa sub-region currently consists of an established operations center in South Sudan, an office in Somalia and a portfolio of multiple transactional, procurement and infrastructure projects in Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and several Atlantic and Indian Ocean island states.

Project Title: Implementing Integrated Water Resource and Wastewater Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS

The geographic scope of this regional project covers the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, focusing on six Small Island Developing States (SIDS), with Cabo Verde and São Tomé y Princípe in the Atlantic Ocean and Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The Goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management. UNEP and UNDP jointly function as Implementing Agencies and respectively oversee their own components.  UNDP component focuses on site-based IWRM demonstration activities while UNEP components primarily focus on national and regional interventions. UNDP component is implemented through UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Water and Energy Cluster while UNEP components are executed by UNOPS East Africa Hub. The following are the Project components;

Component 1: Targeted site based IWRM demonstration activities in all six participating countries (UNDP Implemented)

Component C2: Focusing on development of IWRM and WUE Regional Indicator Framework based on improved collection of gender disaggregated data and indicator feedback and action for improved national and regional sustainable development using water as an entry point b (UNEP Implemented). 

Component C3: Focusing on Policy, Legislative, and Institutional Reform for IWRM and WUE through supporting institutional change and re-alignment to enact National IWRM Plans and WUE strategies, including appropriate financing mechanisms and supporting and building further political will to endorse IWRM policies and plans (UNEP Implemented). 

Component C4: Focusing on Capacity Building and Sustainability Program for IWRM and WUE, including Knowledge Exchange and Learning and Replication (UNEP Implemented).

This consultancy is under component 3 of the project and is specifically under planned tasks in Mauritius.

Background on the Consultancy in Mauritius

The Mauritius Environment Protection Act 2002 provides that the enforcement agency for effluent discharge shall be the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities. The Environment Protection (Standards for Effluent discharge) Regulations 2003 (GN 44 of 2003) amended in 2004 provides that the Ministry shall issue Effluent Discharge Permits and sets down the standards to be complied with by the applicants. Nineteen industrial activities are covered by the regulations mainly agriculture and food based industries as well as textiles and other manufacturing industries.

The current regulations provide various directives which guide the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, such as; no one shall discharge or cause to be discharged any effluent from any of the activities set out in the First Schedule into a watercourse or water body from which water is, or is likely to be, abstracted for domestic purposes (Para 3);  an application for a permit shall be accompanied by a contingency plan specifying measures that shall be taken by the applicant in case of breakdown or failure of the treatment works or process (Para 4(3); and a permit issued shall specify the maximum volume and rate  of effluent that may be discharged daily, the method of sampling and the frequency of analysis (Para5 (2)).

The following are the current Statutory obligations of Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities;

  1. Receive applications for effluent permit;
  2. Analyse application in relation to the standards set in the regulations;
  3. Recommend the method of sampling, the sample storage and method of analysis;
  4. Approve applications and issue permits- indicating the; 
  • maximum volume of effluent that may be discharged,
  • the maximum rate of discharge, the method of sampling
  • The location of sampling points
  • Frequency of analysis
     5. Send results of analysis to the Department of Environment
     6. Revoke permits in case of non-compliance

The following are the challenges that need to be addressed;

  • Inability of industries to satisfy all the parameters set in the regulations with the result that no permit could be granted;
  • Mixing of effluents from flexi-factories;
  • Discharge regulations should account for the eventual impacts of effluents into the water receiving bodies.

The Ministry is seeking the services of consultant to develop technical guidelines for effluent discharge permits for Mauritius.

Functional Responsibilities
  • Under the overall supervision of the Regional Project Manager, the consultant will have direct accountability to the Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities or her designated authority and will perform tasks as set out to realize objectives as below. Objective of the Consultancy The main objective of the consultancy is to review current situation and provide legal and technical guidelines and recommendations for effluent discharge permits.  
Specific Objectives

The following are the specific objectives

  1.  collect and compile available data/information for:

–      Existing industries and industrial effluents

–      Relevant legislation for industrial effluent discharges;

  1. establish a categorization of industrial effluents, based on the industrial activity, and propose set of parameters that would be applicable to each category taking into account the receiving environment;
  2. advise on specific critical parameters which should be mandatorily complied with for each category of effluents;
  3. propose a new compliance mechanism for these mandatory parameters, taking into account the receiving water body(ies);
  4. propose any legal amendments that may be necessary and draft regulations to implement mandatory parameters
  5. propose periods of implementation for industries to adapt to the revised regulations.
  6. propose a new legal approach for regulation of industrial discharge permits taking into account the regime of discharge and the receiving environment;
  7. set orientations and policies for the management of industrial effluents (both discharged directly into the environment and in sewers systems) among local/ government/regulation authorities
  8. propose method and mechanism or guidelines for monitoring parameters where flexibility can be applied (not mandatory);
  9. propose instrument (legal or otherwise) for allowing compliance with the mechanism or guideline;
  10. recommend an approach and guidelines for selection of good practice of effluent treatment for each category of main industries to facilitate compliance with new framework; and
  11. present outcome in a  workshop, which will be organised by the Client (the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities)

Approach and deliverables  

The consultancy will entail both desk review of available documents and reports and on-site visits (during travel to Mauritius) to collect relevant data and compile and recommend an appropriate guidelines for adoption for effluent discharge permits as per the above specific objectives.

Draft report will be submitted to the ministry and presentation made for inputs before final report is submitted for review and approved. Two or three in country visits are foreseen subject to discussion and consensus with the Ministry. 

  • Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.             
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.
  • A proven ability to work as part of a dynamic inter-disciplinary and/or multi-cultural team;
  • The ability to meet project deadlines, often under difficult circumstances;
  • Ability to travel to and work within Island Communities.
  • Demonstrated drive for continuous improvement and incorporation of lessons learned and best practices into business process routines.
  • Demonstration of professional behavior and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behavior from colleagues in the workplace

Desired skills
  • Science – Industrial Science 
  • Contextual Skills – Industrial Development context experience 
  • Safety and Security – Hazardous Materials
  • Environment – Environmental Science
  • Science – Laboratory Engineering – Environmental Engineering 
Required skills
  • Science – Ecology & Environmental Science ( 5 years)
  • Environment – Pollution (Air, Chemical, Industrial) ( 5 years)

A Master’s degree in Civil engineering, water quality, Environmental Health, Environmental sciences, Environmental Engineering, Industrial pollution or a directly related field required. Combination of first-level university degree with additional 2 years work experience may be accepted in lieu of a master’s degree

  • At least 7 years of relevant experience in water quality or Industrial effluent discharge standards is essential.
  • Expertise in regulatory framework for industrial effluents. Good understanding of the regulatory framework in Mauritius is a distinct advantage 
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in IWRM Planning process based on cross-sectoral approaches is required;
  • Demonstrated flexible cross-cultural team experience as well as diplomatic and negotiation skills in facilitation of national processes in water sector is desired;
  • Familiarity with basic international environmental law related to water management is required
  • Demonstrable excellent verbal and written communications skills, both at a technical level and in the preparation of information for policy makers and wider civil society
  • Familiarity with the goals and procedures of international organizations, in particular of the GEF and the it’s implementing agencies (UNDP, UNEP) is deired.

Professional working experience in English (written and oral) level is required.

Contract type:International Individual Contractor Agreement
Contract level: IICA 3
Contract duration:4 Months

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.