Regional Water Planner (Clark Fork River Basin) – DNRC

Job Type(s): Programs / Services
Salary: $30.56
Deadline: May 29, 2019 12:00 am
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OUR MISSION: To help ensure that Montana’s land and water resources provide benefits for present and future generations. This position is located in Helena.

The DNRC believes employees are their most important asset. The DNRC empowers employees to exercise professional judgment in carrying out their duties. Employees are provided with the training and tools necessary to achieve the mission. Both team effort and individual employee expertise are supported and sustained.

The Water Resources Division is responsible for promoting and coordinating the beneficial use, conservation, protection, and development of Montana’s water resources. The Division carries out its duties to promote the general welfare, economic and social prosperity of the people of Montana. Sound coordination of the development and utilization of the state’s waters allows the Water Resources Division to protect existing uses and to promote adequate future supplies for domestic, industrial, agricultural, and recreational needs, as well as the conservation of water for wildlife, aquatic life, and other beneficial uses. 

The Water Management Bureau (WMB) staff develop, analyze and facilitate implementation of water policies, rules and regulations; represent and protect Montana’s water interests in interstate and international river basins; and work with stakeholders to resolve water management issues at the local, regional, state, federal and international levels. The WMB also provides technical and planning support through hydrologic and monitoring assessments, watershed and basin planning studies and assistance with project planning, funding and implementation. The Bureau fosters stewardship of the state’s water resources by delivering diverse, outreach programs and initiatives to the public, other divisions within DNRC, state and federal agencies and regional conservation partners. The WMB is organized into three work units or sections; Hydro-sciencesCompact Implementation and Water Resources Planning Sections.

Job Overview:

The Regional Water Resource Planner (Water Planner) connects the Bureau, Division and other state and federal agencies with individuals, organizations and communities to meet the objectives of DNRC water management through collaborative water use planning and project facilitation and implementation. There are four Water Planners for the state of Montana, each one coordinating the development and implementation of recommendations in the State Water Plan (§85-1-203, Montana Code Annotated (MCA)) and their respective River Basin Plans (Clark Fork/Kootenai, Upper Missouri, Lower Missouri and Yellowstone). The position will coordinate the water planning effort in the Clark Fork/Kootenai River Basin. The Water Planner partners with others to create comprehensive water supply, drought, water management and other specialized water plans and projects. The Water Planning Section also staffs the Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee. Chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and comprised of natural resource agency directors and designees, this committee informs the Governor’s office and the public of water supply conditions and forecasts and recommends statewide drought emergency declarations as-warranted.

This position provides planning and policy expertise to DNRC regional staff, local government officials, planning boards, developers, irrigators, attorneys, engineers, hydrologists, and others involved in water use development, management and conservation.   The Water Planner also provides technical expertise, facilitation, writing, and research assistance necessary for the resolution of complex and unique water management challenges, conflicts and disputes.  These issues include: population growth; increased irrigation demands; water rights adjudication and enforcement; climate monitoring and assessment; land use planning and floodplain management; and public infrastructure planning and development. Each Regional Planner provides direct technical and policy support to multiple DNRC Regional Offices. The Water Planner often serves as a liaison for the Water Resource Division, providing public outreach through professional presentations, materials and the organization of regional and statewide conferences, and state, regional and national technical meetings on water policy, science and management.

The Water Planner facilitates the development of water resource projects and research through procurement of the necessary financial, contractual and technical support required for project implementation. This position functions with a high degree of autonomy within the organization and is directly responsible for establishing work priorities and the successful execution of major duties and responsibilities.

Helpful Hint: To apply you must submit a state application, resume, supplemental questions, transcripts (copies will be fine) and cover letter. When attaching your documents, you must mark them as “relevant”.

Supplemental Questions:

1. Please identify three issues regarding the current and future use of Montana’s water resources and explain why you feel they are important.

2. Describe a strategy or approach you would advocate to engage and inform a stakeholder group or groups regarding a complex water supply or other natural resource project or issue.



Master’s degree in a field related to natural resource management, natural resource policy and planning, or public policy and planning are required. Five years ofpertinent, progressively responsible work experienceworking with diverse stakeholder groups on natural resource issues, public involvement processes, public speaking, grant writing, grant administration and contractor oversight are also required. Education and experience equivalent and comparable to that specified above may meet job requirements and would be considered on an individual basis.

This position requires an extensive knowledge of state and federal water management policies and issues, as well as sound practical knowledge of environmental science and policy.  This position requires extensive knowledge of water use and water conservation methods in addition to an understanding of the implications of alternative water policy decisions. The Water Planner must have a strong knowledge and practical understanding of a multitude of topics, including state and federal water policies, hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, ecology, natural resource monitoring and climate science and be able to effectively correlate and translate the relationship and complexity of these water interactions for diverse audiences. Each Regional Planner provides direct technical and policy support to multiple DNRC Regional Offices. Knowledge of the regional issues, politics, demographics, geology, hydrology and climate of the region is critical. This position requires experience and expertise in conducting research, data collection and analysis and skills necessary to effectively communicate findings to support the planning, project management, public outreach and facilitation capacities of the position.  Specific knowledge required:

Water Law and use in Montana, water allocation, interstate and international river basin issues and compacts, water rights, Indian and non-Indian federal reserved water rights; 
Watershed management, water monitoring, instream flow requirements, water quantity/quality interactions, groundwater/surface water interactions and watershed planning; 
Principles of stream and groundwater hydrology as they apply to water management and monitoring and their relationship to changing land uses, population growth, and flow conditions;
Principles of climate science as it applies to meteorological, hydrological, and terrestrial drought monitoring, assessment and reporting. Knowledge and understanding of the metrics, data sources, and limitations of climate modeled products in the assessment of drought conditions is essential;    
Scientific methods for conducting research, collecting water resource surface and groundwater data, and statistical approaches for analyzing and synthesizing data and reporting findings—water data include water quantity, quality, water rights, and other relevant data types; 
Spatial information development, data management, GIS software (ArcGIS), spatial data analysis and mapping principles would be advantageous.