Water Policy Specialist via Idealist

WaterNow Alliance

San Francisco, CA, US

Position Announcement

WaterNow Alliance is a nonprofit coalition of water utility leaders dedicated to achieving high impact, widespread adoption of sustainable water solutions in the U.S. West and nationwide. We work with communities to facilitate the transition to a resilient and secure water future, bringing innovative solutions to scale. We are developing a network of community leadership and partners to address policy and financial barriers and identify success stories and demonstration projects to support the growth of sustainable water strategies that work for communities and the environment. With offices in San Francisco’s Presidio community, WaterNow is an independent operating division of the Trust for Conservation Innovation, a nationally recognized nonprofit with a growing portfolio of innovative initiatives that conserve and protect a sustainable and resilient world (www.t4ci.org)

The Water Policy Specialist will manage WaterNow Alliance’s portfolio of sustainable water focused policy initiatives at local, state, and federal levels related to urban water use. The Water Policy Specialist will be a key contributor to a small, dedicated team of professionals working to support a nationwide coalition of local water leaders in advancing sustainable water strategies. This position will work with utility and municipal leaders, businesses, innovators, academic institutions, federal and state partners and other key stakeholders to develop and implement effective policy measures in support of WaterNow Alliance’s mission. Successful candidates will demonstrate a strong independent track record of success and the ability to contribute effectively as a team member and to collaborate across organizations.

Core Job Functions and Responsibilities:

• Working in tandem with WNA’s Executive Director, develop a long-term policy roadmap to advance adoption of sustainable water solutions nationwide

• Develop and manage WNA’s dynamic portfolio of strategic policy initiatives, such as financing for green infrastructure, advancing alternative water transfer mechanisms in the Colorado River Basin, and advocating for federal or state resources to support local sustainable water efforts

• Lead research efforts to support policy and advocacy objectives; monitor federal, state, and local water policy and political developments in real time

• Serve as a key WNA public-facing thought leader in white papers, informational materials, web-content, policy briefs, and/or other resources to effectively communicate water policy programs and sustainable management strategies

• Engage WNA’s network of water leaders in advocacy activities, such as meeting with elected officials, writing letters, and writing op-eds

• Cultivate strong relationships with water utility leaders and staff, key local, state and federal partners, NGOs, and others; serve as a senior representative and spokesperson for WNA,

working to build WNA’s relationships and influence with key decision makers, partner organizations and coalitions, and the media

• Elevate WNA’s policy initiatives at WNA member summits, workshops and other membership-related events

• Represent WNA at key industry and sector conferences, meetings, and events and actively seek out opportunities to advocate for WNA’s policy priorities, develop new partnerships, and advance WNA’s policy agenda with key external stakeholders.

• Collaborate within the WNA team to create high-quality written, visual, data-informed policy tools for local and national audiences, including curricula, manuals, user guides, and other training and resource materials

• Work alongside the full WNA team to secure funding for local advocacy work; assist in preparing proposals and reports; identify and build relationships with potential partners and funders

• Travel as necessary to implement work plan objectives in national, state, and local areas of focus.

• Other duties as assigned.

The Ideal Candidate

You are a seasoned water policy expert with excellent written and verbal communication skills and a passion for advancing sustainable water policies and practices nationwide. You are ready for a new level of responsibility and growth in an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization with opportunity for advancement. You have prepared compelling, in-depth white papers demonstrating a capacity for marshalling evidence and making a persuasive case for policy positions. You have an interest in, and facility for, analyzing federal, state and local legislative initiatives. You are a deft juggler of multiple projects, shifting priorities and able to work independently, stay on task and meet your deadlines. You have strong interpersonal skills, empathetic listening skills, and an ability to connect with all different types of stakeholders. You are also team-builder who collaborates effectively and tactfully with elected officials, city staff, water professionals, non-profit organizations, and community members. You have an inquisitive nature and are comfortable interpreting scientific and technical concepts and can rely on your strong quantitative and analytical abilities. You are dedicated to your mission and thus have demonstrated commitment to public service or social justice work. You possess a great sense of humor, positive attitude, and self-awareness. You have always wanted to work in the San Francisco Presidio.

Specific Requirements

• At least 5 years of workplace experience in water policy, politics, advocacy, philanthropy or other relevant field with demonstrated increased responsibility and management experience. Bachelor’s Degree required; law degree or advanced degree in public policy, water resource management, or financing or other relevant field is desired, but not required.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills including public speaking experience

• Strong advocacy and/or campaign experience on sustainability issues

• Significant project management experience.

• Highly organized with excellent attention to detail

• Experience with water utilities or local government preferred but not required

• Technical proficiency with MS Office Suite, including Excel, Powerpoint; proficiency with Salesforce preferred but not required

• Flexibility and willingness to travel regularly.


We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid health, vision, dental, short- and long-term disability, voluntary life, commuter benefits and employer-matched retirement contributions. 

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

[email protected]


If your salary requirements are within the range above, you meet position requirements, and the position is of interest to you, please send a compelling cover letter, writing sample and resume that describes your interest in this position, your relevant qualifications and experience, and your availability. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Applications can be sent to [email protected] We’re a small team and we politely request no follow-up calls or emails.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws