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HYDROLOGIST III - Surface Water Section

  • 500008
  • Full-time


The mission of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) is to safeguard the health, safety, and economic welfare of the public by protecting, conserving, and enhancing Arizona's water supplies in a bold, thoughtful and innovative manner. ADWR is seeking a talented Hydrologist to join the Surface Water Permitting Section.

The section, which comprises 8 staff members, enjoys an energetic, collaborative working environment in which team members are encourage to take initiative, problem solve, innovate, and grow their skills. 

 The desired candidate will have excellent research and analytical skills and will be able to resolve complex issues and exercise careful judgment. The candidate will also have exceptional written and oral communication skills and customer service skills. 

Hydrologist III

Surface Water Section 

Job Location:

Address:  1110 W. Washington St., Suite #310 - Phoenix, AZ 85007


Posting Details:

Salary: $39,983 Min, $55,773, Mid-Pt, 71,564 Max 

Grade: 21

Closing Date: Open Until Filled 

Job Summary:

This position is responsible for providing technical support for the processing, expediting, and approving/rejecting surface water right applications and claims, with an emphasis on instream flow and sever and transfer applications.  Responsible for ensuring surface water rights and claims adhere to Department policies, rules, procedures, and State and Federal statutes.

Job Duties:

The person in this position will:

  • Research, compile, analyze, interpret, and integrate water resource management data through a variety of sources and from other program areas
  • Participate in complex interdepartmental projects that require multi-disciplinary expertise and written and oral reports and letters 
  • Be a team leader for field inspections/investigations of water resource rights/claims, ensuring correct procedures and techniques are utilized, high-quality results are achieved, and that project timelines, goals, and objectives are met 
  • Serve as a project leader/liaison for investigating and resolving water resource management issues of a complex, sensitive, and visible nature and for the preparation of reports with recommendations that may impact multiple water resource management program areas  
  • Provide technical support related to groundwater/surface water interactions, generate hydrologic reports that will be used in the processing of applicable surface water applications, and may act as an agency technical witness in hearings
  • Assist in the development and maintenance of Department databases and in the development, maintenance, updating, imaging, and preserving of Department records
  • Assist lower level professional staff regarding procedures and techniques to be used, quality of results expected, and project timelines, goals, and objectives 
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

Knowledge of:

  • Current concepts and practices used in water resource planning and management
  • Department policies and procedures and State surface water statutes, rules, and direction regarding managing the State's water resources, including current and proposed management plans
  • Information sources, research methods, and techniques utilized in water resource management
  • Rangeland management and agricultural practices as they relate to livestock, stockponds, irrigation, methods used to quantify water needs for different uses of water
  • Streamflow measurement techniques and the statistical analysis of streamflow data 
  • Geomorphology, particularly fluvial processes in Arizona, and aquatic - riparian ecosystems
  • The design of dams, ditches, pipelines, canal irrigation systems, and reservoirs

Skills in:

  • Preparing and analyzing technical and administrative reports, statements, and correspondence
  • Coordinating multi-disciplinary projects impacting water resource management
  • Identification, evaluation, and interpretation of the design, integrity, and effectiveness of structures constructed to divert, transport, capture, or store water
  • Diverse field methodologies, routine calculations, plotting, checking numerical data, preparing data profiles, computations, and investigational and gathering field data using
  • Engineering measurement techniques utilizing land survey equipment such as GPS/GNSS, level and rod, measuring tape, electronic measuring tools, handheld sonar, ArcGIS field and office applications, and team station field methodology
  • Researching maps, reports, and documents and gathering information necessary to evaluate and process applications and generate reports
  • Leadership, including training and supervising of lower-level professional staff regarding procedures/techniques to be used, quality of results expected and projected timelines, goals, and objectives 

Ability to:

  • Manage and prioritize multiple projects simultaneously
  • Interpret, explain, and ensure compliance with State and Federal surface water statutes and rules and Department policies and procedures
  • Compile, analyze, and interpret water resource management data from a variety of sources and databases, including field measurements and calculations, observations and evaluations of historical records, maps, aerial photographs, and remotely sensed data output; Department policies, rules, and procedures; State and Federal Statutes and rules; the public; and State and Federal entities
  • Design and modify field data collection and measurement techniques for every project, as may be required
  • Identify water sources, directional flow paths of water sources, and the interaction between groundwater and surface water
  • Determine the volume of tanks and reservoirs, depth of water, heights, ground surface elevations, distances, and stream discharge
  • Conduct fieldwork independently statewide, and often in remote areas
  • Work well independently and as part of a diverse team
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders—including agency staff, governmental officials, the regulated community, and the public—and provide excellent customer service
Selective Preference(s):

Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in hydrology, civil engineering, geology, watershed management or a related field, plus three years relevant work experience. A Master's degree in one of the above fields substitutes for one year of the required experience; a Ph.D. in one of the above fields substitutes for two years of required experience.

Pre-Employment Requirements:

This position requires possession of and ability to retain a current, valid state-issued driver’s license appropriate to the assignment. Employees who drive on state business are subject to driver’s license checks, must maintain acceptable driving records and must complete any driver training (See Arizona Administrative Code R2-10-207.12).


The State of Arizona provides an excellent comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Affordable medical, dental, life, and short-term disability insurance plans
  • Top-ranked retirement and long-term disability plans
  • Sick Leave
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Deferred compensation plan
  • Credit union membership
  • Wellness plans
  • LinkedIn Learning membership
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Employee Discounts

For a complete list of benefits provided by The State of Arizona, please visit our benefits page


Positions in this classification participate in the Arizona State Retirement system (ASRS). Please note, enrollment eligibility will become effective after 27 weeks of employment. The current contribution rate is 12.41%

Contact Us:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact ADWR Human Resources Office at (602) 771-8500 for assistance. Persons with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation such as a sign language or an alternative format by contacting ADWR Human Resources.


All Arizona state employees operate within the Arizona Management System (AMS), an intentional, results-driven approach for doing the work of state government whereby every employee reflects on performance, reduces waste, and commits to continuous improvement with sustainable progress.  Through AMS, every state employee seeks to understand customer needs, identify problems, improve processes, and measure results.  
State employees are highly engaged, collaborative and embrace a culture of public service.

Arizona State Government is an AA/EOE/ADA Reasonable Accommodation Employer.