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  • 513955
  • Full-time


The mission of the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) is to protect, conserve, and enhance Arizona's water supplies by confronting water management challenges in a bold, thoughtful, and innovative manner. ADWR is seeking a talented, motivated water resource professional to join the Colorado River Section.

Water Resources Specialist 3

Water Planning & Permitting Division/Colorado River Section



Job Location:

Hybrid: remote and 1110 W. Washington St., Suite #310 - Phoenix, AZ 85007 

Posting Details:

Salary: $55,000 - $75,000

Grade: 23

Closing Date: Open Until Filled

Job Summary:

This position is the primary point of contact for Colorado River Section 5 contract transfers, assignments and conveyances. The successful candidate will support the Water Planning and Permitting Division's Colorado River Management Section in maintaining accurate records of Colorado River contracts and associated water use and will work closely with representatives from the Bureau of Reclamation. The successful candidate will analyze requests for transfers and assignments of Colorado River entitlements and draft the Director's Recommendation. The position is frequently called on to answer novel questions for which no clear answer has been identified in the past. The position requires initiative, critical thinking, and independent problem solving, particularly when looking at legacy/outstanding and historical issues. 

The position involves working with highly sensitive and confidential information and discretion is critical. The successful candidate will thrive in a detail oriented role where a large portion of the work is highly technical, solitary, and involves research and writing. Strong writing and presentation skills are essential. Legal training is highly desirable, but not required. A J.D. may be substituted for an M.S. degree.  Knowledge of real property mapping and parcel location would be beneficial. This is not an entry level position. 

Interested candidates should submit their Cover Letter and Resume to apply.

A hybrid work schedule (some work in the office and some work from home) is available for this position.

Job Duties:

This position may support the Manager of the Colorado River Section to assist in implementing and managing System Conservation agreements, including contracts and payment documents. 

Analyzes complex water issues involving the management of Arizona's Colorado River apportionment. Maintains and updates Colorado River main-stem contracts and Central Arizona Project sub-contracts and manages contract action processes such as amendments, leases, transfers, and terminations of Colorado River contracts. Researches legacy actions awaiting disposition. Monitors other basin state meetings of interest to the CRM Section and ADWR leadership and keep detailed notes for reporting to management. 

Maintains master hard-files and electronic files for the associated Colorado River contracts and CAP subcontracts. Assist the CRM Manager with working through the ADWR Records Management update process. Provides detailed contract information and Indian Water Rights Settlement information as requested. Assists in the accounting and administration of System Conservation Agreements for Colorado River water users. Interface with Finance Department to facilitate payment of conservation related invoices. Tasks may also include working with CRM colleagues to maintain annual ICS records. May be asked to present highly technical and sensitive information pertaining to Colorado River management and modeling to a to a wide array of audiences, including the public. May assist in preparing FAQs and talking points for the Communications staff and assist in responding to media inquiries.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

Knowledge of:

  • Laws, treaties, compacts, doctrines, rules, regulations, customs, practices, etc. pertaining to the Colorado River
  • Indian Water Rights settlements and implementation of settlements
  • Current concepts and practices used in water resource planning and management
  • Cultural water demands including agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses
  • Historical governmental involvement with water supply, water usage, and water resources management
  • The legal, institutional, and physical aspects of water supply and utilization
  • Current Arizona water resources management laws and regulations
  • ADWR policies/direction regarding managing the state's water resources


  • Preparing technical reports/recommendations involving multiple water resource management programs; investigating/resolving water resource management issues of a highly complex, sensitive and visible nature.
  • Analyzing multiple demands on water resources and impacts to myriad stakeholders
  • Assisting in developing and tracking federal spending plans across myriad programs and fiscal years.
  • Coordinating multi-disciplinary projects impacting water resource management program areas.
  • Applying and interpreting Federal and State laws, rules and regulations as they pertain to program operating operations/activity
  • Research of water resource and water contracts, hydrological data, maps and land description and ownership
  • Interpretation of intricate, complex federal statutes and judicial law
  • Analyzing and problem solving
  • Using computers/computer models to compile, analyze, and interpret water resource management data including database development and GIS applications
  • MS Office Suite - Excel, Word, Power Point
  • Process improvement, process streamlining and problem solving.

Ability to

  • Present information to lay audiences as well as technical peers
  • Interpret/explain and ensure compliance with State and Federal surface water, adjudication and groundwater statutes, rules and Department policies and procedures
  • Review a variety of legal, regulatory, and technical documents related to water resources
  • Applying techniques to study water resource management issues impacting the State of Arizona
  • Communicate effectively with the public, in both written and oral form
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with various levels of governmental and regulated business officials and the public
  • Handle multiple complex annual contracts and tasks simultaneously
  • Identify problems, assess situations and make well thought-out recommendations on the resolution of problems
  • Work independently and collectively with colleagues and team members
  • Coordinate projects with other ADWR staff, other governmental agencies, and the public
  • Use analytical methods
  • Manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines
Selective Preference(s):

Knowledge of the regulatory process, the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is essential. Prior experience with Reclamation Law is highly desirable.

Knowledge and application of rules of statutory and regulatory interpretation and construction is essential.

Pre-Employment Requirements:

Seven years of professional level water resource management experience, or a bachelor's degree and five years of related experience, or a master's degree and three years of experience, or a Ph.D. and one year of experience. Valid Arizona Driver's License.


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
  • 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 12.17%.

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.

The State of Arizona is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.