Civil Engineer, Water Risk Management Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh, , SA

Location :

Application Deadline : 30-Jun-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left : 15d 12h 9m
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : International Consultant
Languages Required : Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract : One year with possibility of extension

During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms.  In addition, newer and more precise predictions of the effects of climate change indicate that Saudi Arabia will be affected more than had been assumed only a decade ago.

To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen. First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side). Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place. 

The transformation of this information into an all-encompassing water resources management requires sustained long-term efforts, especially since the MEWA has limited capacity and experience in this field. An UNDP program has been designed to initiate a   systematic process of capacity development to help in sustainable development of water resources and management of water-related affairs the Kingdom to ensure permanent and sufficient supply.  The program has five pillars: Groundwater Resources Management; Secondary Water Resources; Water Supply Management; Public Relations; and Capacity Building, each represented by a working group.

Duties and Responsibilities

Water Supply in the Kingdom is presently based dominantly of fossil groundwater and desalination; wastewater and surface water harvesting presently play a minor role, but are strongly promoted. Management of the Water Supply Chain in the Kingdom requires the following tasks of prime importance: 1) Expansion of the water supply network towards 100% coverage through vectorized designs; 2) Integration of surface water and wastewater into the supply chain; and 3) a profound analysis of all the risks that may affect the individual components of the water supply chain and a mitigation plan.

Hence, the MEWA has asked UNDP for assistance in selection of a qualified and competent international expert as a Water Supply Specialist. The tasks described here belong to the pillar Water Supply Management of the UNDP Project. The Expert’s activities will be coordinated by the Director General of the Water Planning Directorate.

  • Analyze the entire water resources in the country for potential risks (groundwater, desalinated water, surface water, waste water) and identify appropriate preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of occurrence.
  • Identify any significant risks to drinking water supply and wastewater system, and appropriate preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of occurrence and the impact on users of the supply.
  • Identify operational monitoring requirements and provide an inspection and maintenance plan for risk mitigation for water supply and wastewater system
  • Support the development of integrated water risk management plans.
  • Elaborate a supply risk management for major eventualities that may affect water supply

All experts are obliged to

  • present an activity and achievement report at the end of the service;
  • to handover the project with all electronic files including but not limited to reports, tables, graphics etc.;
  • evaluate and recommend suited colleagues (at the end of the service) for advanced education (postgraduate carrier);
  • cooperate as closely as possible with the members of the working group;
  • attend the quarterly project’s workshops;
  • incorporate MEWA personnel in the daily activities (training on the job);
  • teach one course per year (3-5 days) for MEWA personnel;
  • support potential research activities.

Corporate behavioral Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity in values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the Ministry of Civil Service;
  • Displays cultural, gender, nationality, age, etc. sensitivity and adaptability; and
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Has proven knowledge of project cycle and log-frame design including budgeting abilities;
  • Has the ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Perform leadership in the capacity development, strategic planning, re-engineering processes, results-based management, and reporting;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  •  Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to convey complex
  • concepts to different stakeholders in a clear and concise style;
  • Manages multiple activities concurrently, work under pressure, and to meet tight deadlines; and

Displays a high level of respect, diplomacy, and tact when dealing with government officials, donors, and other stakeholders.

Required Skills and Experience
  • MSc or PhD in Civil or Mechanical Engineering with a water infrastructure background;
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in water infrastructure projects – a relevant multi-disciplinary background is considered useful;
  • Comprehensive list of successfully completed projects;
  • Experience in GIS to document the supply chains and localization of risks;
  • Experience in modeling of supply chains;
  • Demonstrated expert knowledge of standard practices within field of expertise, as well as applicable codes and regulations;
  • Good (and demonstrated) organizing skills, preferably with development project management competency;
  • Excellent and demonstrated communication, consultation, negotiation and drafting skills;
  • As the project language is English, excellent communication and writing skills in English; Arabic language skills will be an advantage.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.