Groundwater Exploration Geologist/Hydrogeologist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh, , SA

Location :Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA
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

Surface water harvesting is considered a valuable and promising source for additional water resources for the Kingdom. Several dams are present, which will be a primary source for these resources through injection, mainly in wadi aquifers.

The ever-increasing rate of treated wastewater production by far outpaces the concepts for its storage and reuse. In coastal areas, large amounts of well-treated water are disposed of in the sea. There is an urgent need to convert these amounts of water into potential and accessible resources, e.g. through artificial storage.

MEWA has just initiated the search for suitable areas for Artificial Storage and Recharge (ASR) and Managed Artificial recharge (MAR). While the injection itself is not a technical problem, potential reservoirs are insufficiently known, especially as the chemistry and microbiology of the water to be stored is different from conventional water. Each reservoir requires special geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations to estimate risks and potential storage. In addition, the creation of storage reservoirs has to be accompanied by the establishment of exclusion zones, in which no private abstraction and no agriculture are permitted. Steps needed are: Search for suitable reservoirs, check of the socio-economic environment (property rights etc.), search for suitable solutions for reuse, installation of the infrastructure, and continuous monitoring.

  • Proposing and planning of in-depth studies for shallow aquifers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to characterize and manage them on regional scale for their use as ASR/MAR sites through injection;
  • Supervision of technical studies and projects for surface water and wastewater injection in progress with highest degree of technical and professional expertise;
  • Consultancy for specialized studies on applied research or specific problems leading to development of new and effective concepts in renewable groundwater resources assessment and management.

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
  • MS or PhD degree in Hydrogeology or Geological Sciences related to hydrogeological exploration and reservoir management – a relevant multi-disciplinary background is considered useful;
  • At least (10) years of working experience in the context of hydro-geological reservoir analysis with special emphasis on ASR/MAR;
  • Experience in drilling, borehole geophysics, surface geophysics with respect to groundwater exploration;
  • Experience in hydraulic testing and interpretation of reservoirs;
  • Knowledge of stratigraphy and hydrostratigraphy of the Arabian Peninsula;
  • 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.