Hydrogeology Consultant

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

, , SB


The impacts of climate change, particularly sea-level rise (SLR) and pronounced droughts have severe consequences on water and sanitation in the Solomon Islands. Due to SLR, low-lying islands, atolls and flat deltaic regions are faced with salt water intrusion, affecting the groundwater resources and limiting access to freshwater supply. Droughts have severely affected water supplies; during the 1997/1998 droughts that resulted in reduction of freshwater availability in Honiara by around 30-40%. Droughts have also damaged crops and livelihoods. Likewise, climate-related impacts on the quality and quantity of water has a gender dimension; in the context of the ethnic tensions, the safety and security of women and girls are compromised as they need to travel further to collect water, also leading to less time for other activities.

In this context, Government of the Solomon Islands, Ministries of Mines, Energy, and Rural Electrification (MMERE), in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM), Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) – Environmental Health Division, Ministry of Development, Planning, and Aid Coordination (MDPAC), and UNDP is embarking on the Solomon Islands Water Sector Adaptation Project (SIWSAP) through support from Global Environment Facility (GEF) Least Developed Country Fund (LDCF).  The project objective is to improve the resilience of water resources to the impacts climate change and improve health, sanitation and quality of life, so that livelihoods can be enhanced and sustained in the targeted vulnerable areas.  SIWSAP will work with partners to achieve this objective through 1) formulating, integrating, and mainstreaming water sector-climate change adaptation response plans in the water-related sectors as well as broader policy and development frameworks, 2) increasing the reliability and improving the quality of water supply in targeted areas, 3) investing in cost-effective and adaptive water management interventions and technology transfer, and 4) improving governance and knowledge management for climate change adaptation in the water sector at the local and national levels. 

At the end of the four years’ implementation of the project, the Government of Solomon Island will have enhanced systems, tools, and knowledge for water resource resilience at the national and local levels, which will contribute to the implementation and achievement of national priorities outlined in various policies and strategies, including the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) 2008, National Development Strategy (NDS) 2011 – 2020, National Water and Sanitation Sector Plan (2007).

In light of the above background, SIWSAP aims to recruit a hydrogeologist to lead, facilitate and conduct the hydrogeological survey/assessments at the six pilot sites under the project. The consultant will work closely with the SIWSAP PMU, WRD and other key government partners, Climate Change and WASH development projects, the UNDP Operations and Programme team, UN Agencies, and other Technical Experts and Advisors with other multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors/projects and civil society for a successful project implementation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Deputy Director, Water Resources Division, and the SIWSAP Project Manager, this consultant is responsible for leading and facilitating of the hydrogeological survey and assessment under the project in close collaboration and partnership with key government partners (both national and provincial), other similar Climate Change and WASH projects, NGOs, Faith Based Organization and local communities. The consultant will have the following responsibilities:

  • Provide an updated knowledge/information with maps of groundwater distribution and availability by conducting groundwater assessments for Gizo, Ferafalu, Taro, Tuwo, Tigoa and Santa Catalina. The Water Resource Division (WRD) of MMERE will provide support where possible to ensure tangible data are acquired.

  • Create a basis for further groundwater development by reviewing existing data and or prior hydrogeological related assessment reports that are available for Gizo township. Undertake additional hydrogeological investigation for Gizo and other sites (if required).

  • Conduct an earth resistivity survey and ground water leveling survey and analysis across all pilot sites to better understand the groundwater balance/potential in order to determine if a sustainable management regime can be established.

  • In consultation with Water Resource Division, identify cost effective measures to extract ground water resources that will meet that demand of the local populace, taking into account the climate related water stresses.

  • For each pilot site, provide assessment reports, including hydrogeological maps with recommendations for suitable groundwater interventions as adaptive measures based on the findings of the assessments.

  • In carrying out the above tasks, the consultant is expected to work very closely with local staff of the WRD to ensure skills transfer/capacity building

  • Support other related matters as maybe requested/required by the WRD and the project.

  • Physical ability to travel by boat or small airplanes to the outer islands

  • Capacity to work under extreme weather and environmental conditions.

  • Culturally sensitive, friendly, and effective communication skills that is conducive to effective presentations and networking, and building trust required to complete tasks; Sensitive to and can demonstrate diplomacy and integrity within cultural complexities and unique political contexts.

  • Delivers work on time; Proactive in updating work progress and raising any challenges and proposing practical solutions when delays and/or change of plans occur

  • Experience in development administration with specific experiences in climate change and governance projects.

  • Language: must be fluent in English and pidgin (both oral and written)

  • Demonstrates capacity to plan, prioritize and deliver tasks on time to meet goals in a highly pressured environment and to support other colleagues in achieving similar goals.

  • Demonstrates capacity to respond flexible and positively to change through active involvement and generation of innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations.

Required Skills and Experience
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in Science or engineering (geology with hydrogeology or related earth science.)
  • At least 5 years of experience in hydrogeological survey, groundwater assessments, drilling investigation with familiarity to Solomon Islands or South Pacific context.

  • Experience in using geophysical instruments, specifically ABEM Terameter for ground water investigation

  • Some experience in survey and geological mapping.

  • Experience with good background knowledge of Integrated Water Resource Management, utilizing various management tools / interventions.

  • Experience in implementing international, multilateral, bilateral door funded and/or public sector water investment initiatives.