Water Resources Administrator

City of Arvada | Arvada, CO

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Posted Date 2/27/2023

The City of Arvada promotes Equal Pay for Equal Work.  Starting salary will be determined by the applicant's education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity. The range listed reflects the entire range and typical placement is entry to mid range.   

Responsible for the division’s activities associated with ensuring the long-term sustainability of Arvada’s water supplies for current and future water customers.  Directs/implements the field activities associated with the city’s raw water diversions and ensures these operations on the South Platte, Clear Creek, and Ralston Creek fully comply with the city’s water court decrees.  Develops or oversees the water system accounting documentation as required by the city and state.  Coordinates regularly with the city’s legal and engineering consultants to monitor/protect/develop the city’s water supply as needed.   Negotiates the purchases of new water supplies and raw water supply contracts and leases.  May serve as the city representative in water court proceedings. 


  • Ensure raw water operations fully comply with the city’s court decrees and state administration.  Coordinate activities with other governmental agencies, Denver Water Board, the state engineer’s office, and ditch companies.

  • Develop or oversee accounting records associated with the city’s water system including:  Daily treated water production figures, daily raw water diversions and pumping rates associated with the city’s direct flow and storage water rights, monthly reservoir storage levels, return flow obligations owed to specific stream segments, ensuring that annual and 20-year volumetric decreed limitations on water diversions for individual ditches are not exceeded, and tracking daily reusable flows generated at the Metro Water Recovery Treatment Plant to maximize utilization of Arvada’s supplies.

  • Direct the work activities of outside water attorneys and water engineering consultants retained on behalf of the city in water rights matters.

  • Submit water court applications and participate in drafting decrees on behalf of the city for diligence with regards to historic conditional water rights, filing for new storage or exchange rights, and converting water from irrigation to municipal usage.

  • Review monthly water court resumes and file statements of opposition to water court applications entered by water users that may adversely impact the city’s water supplies or operations.

  • Review proposed decrees and engineering reports and recommend necessary revisions to reach settlement.  If necessary, provide and/or direct expert witness testimony in water court proceedings. Negotiate with opposing parties in water court cases that impact Arvada’s water rights.

  • Negotiate water supply contracts and lease agreements with other water entities.  Monitor the provisions of those agreements to ensure compliance.

  • Coordinate the purchase of new water rights to meet current and future water demands.

  • Coordinate financial terms associated with water supply acquisitions and leases.

  • Serve as the city representative at ditch company shareholder meetings and perform the associated board member duties for various irrigation companies, or coordinate with other  city employees to fulfill those roles.

  • Provide guidance over the division’s day-to-day activities and act as the subject matter expert for other team members.

  • Direct the pumping operations of the Croke Canal and Church Ditch pump stations and any other raw water infrastructure.

  • Acquire and analyze water use data on an annual basis for use in other applications. Prepare the annual water system loss report. Update and operate the water supply/demand projection model to analyze the adequacy of the city’s water supplies to meet current demand and future water demand scenarios.

  • Plan, organize, set goals and evaluate functions and activities for the water resources team. Coordinate those functions as needed for other city staff positions partnering with the water resources team. 

  • Special projects as assigned, to include studies, research and projections related to water resources, water supply and water conservation. 

  • Oversee expenditures from program budgeted funds, and provide input for future year operating budgets.

  • Provide input to the city’s capital improvement program budget for water supply and raw water infrastructure projects. Act as project manager for raw water-related projects. 

  • Review and approve invoices of professional services submitted by outside water legal counsel and engineering consultants.

  • Demonstrate a respectful attitude towards customers and coworkers that promotes teamwork, open communication, and effective customer service. 

  • Act with the customer in mind, respond to requests promptly and provide effective services or solutions for internal/external customers.

  • Exercise appropriate level of initiative and judgment to make decisions within the scope of assigned authority.


  • Expert knowledge and thorough understanding of Colorado water law as it pertains to municipal decrees.

  • Knowledge of municipal financial and budgeting systems.

  • Working knowledge of civil engineering and/or water resources principles and practices.

  • Experience in negotiating contractual/legal agreements.

  • Experience in developing and maintaining moderately complex spreadsheets.

  • Experience in performing detailed analysis and tracking of financial and water data.

  • Proficient in exercising initiative and judgment, and making decisions within the scope of assigned authority.

  • Ability to prioritize multiple and changing work requests while meeting the many needs of the customers / users.

  • Ability to exercise sound initiative and judgment as well as make decisions within the scope of assigned authority. 

  • Ability to effectively communicate information, both verbally and in writing, to support organizational objectives and interact with all levels of personnel within the city in a positive and cooperative manner.


  • Some evening and weekend work may be required.

  • Represents division on various city committees. 

  • Other duties as required.

—Employees are held accountable for all duties of this job—


Receives general supervision under the direction of the utilities business manager.  Plans own work to meet defined work plans and objectives.  Few precedents and/or procedures are readily available; some decisions are made based on organizational policy and/or precedent.  Decisions impact a major segment of the organization.  Adheres to procedures set forth in the City of Arvada codes and ordinances, department and division policies and procedures.  Is responsible for recommending, but does not make the final decision for promotions / transfers, salary recommendations, and terminations. 

Financial Accountability:

Assists with developing the operational budget for the water supply/operations/conservation division.  Makes recommendations for budget allocations to the utilities business manager. Approves professional services invoices.  Monitors the use of purchase cards.  Negotiates financial terms of raw water acquisitions between the city and individual water sellers.



The work environment/physical activities described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job. 

Work is primarily performed in an office environment with low noise levels. Physical effort and activities in the office setting include: No regular physical effort above and beyond what is normally required for work primarily performed in an office environment.  Physical effort and activities in the field may include: Occasional visits to the field to change water diversion recording charts and to check on raw water infrastructure.  At times, pipe valves need to be turned using a valve key.  Ditch headgates occasionally need to be operated by hand.   This work may be done personally or coordinated with  other city staff.


Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, Water Engineering, Natural Resource Planning, or a related field and five (5) years of experience in water rights administration. Colorado driver license required.

Preferred Qualifications: 

Graduate degree in water resources management, water engineering, natural resource planning or a field directly related to water resources

Significant experience working directly for a water utility or a consulting firm providing similar services to a utility

Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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