Water Conservation Specialist

City of San Luis Obispo | San Luis Obispo, CA

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Posted Date 1/08/2024

$75K - $100K Annually

In-person panel interviews for this job will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Please hold that date in the case that you are invited to interview. 

Please note: The City of San Luis Obispo is currently offering a lump-sum incentive for some positions which may be valued up to $2,500. Additionally, the City is honoring service credit towards vacation accrual for completed public sector years of service.

For those candidates who live 50 or more miles from San Luis Obispo County, relocation assistance up to $10,000 may be available.


Performs a variety of professional and technical assignments in the development, implementation, and administration of the City’s water conservation program, including public education and outreach, water supply and demand forecasting and planning, water loss monitoring and performance, and groundwater program expansion.


This classification performs complex work requiring independent judgment and initiative in the development, implementation, and administration of a water conservation program. This classification is distinguished from the Water Resources Program Manager in that the latter has overall management responsibility for the staff and activities of the Water Resources Program. This classification is distinguished from the Water Resources Technician in that the latter performs less complex technical, customer service, and outreach duties.



Employees in this classification receive general supervision from the Water Resources Program Manager and may exercise technical or functional direction over lower-level staff. 



(Any one position may not include all duties listed nor do the listed examples include all tasks that may be found in positions of this class.)

  • Plans, develops, and implements innovative water conservation and related programs.
  • Monitors, maintains, and expands water conservation rebate and groundwater programs, including recommending program, policy, and municipal code modifications and revisions.
  • Reviews building plans for compliance with water conservation-related state and local regulations.
  • Prepares and submits state mandated reporting associated with water conservation and efficiency compliance.
  • Reviews residential and commercial water use data for compliance with state water use regulations and recommends conservation methods to property owner if needed.
  • Participates in development of the City’s water loss audit and associated municipal water loss reduction programs.
  • Produces and ensures implementation of the annual public outreach plan for water division operations.
  • Provides support to Water Resources staff, as needed, on tasks such as water waste violations, conservation reviews, rebate program implementation, and groundwater level measurements.
  • Develops and maintains long-term water demand and water supply availability forecasts.
  • Assists in the development and expansion of groundwater pumping, including state-mandated reporting.
  • Provides technical expertise to City staff and the public on how to achieve the program objectives. 
  • Collects, compiles, and analyzes data to understand trends, monitor programs, conduct studies, and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws; prepares oral, written, and statistical reports. 
  • Assists management in the production of water resources assessments and plans.
  • Represents the City in interdepartmental, community, and professional meetings as required.
  • Performs regulatory monitoring and evaluation activities for assigned programs; documents problem areas and researches and recommends solutions.
  • Ensures compliance with City ordinances through public outreach, customer support, and issuing citations.
  • Assists management in the preparation of the Water Resources budget; monitors and tracks the water conservation program budget.
  • Trains, leads, and oversees work conducted by lower-level staff. 
  • Interprets Federal, state, and local regulations; coordinates their application to City operations and to the public.
  • Performs related duties similar to the above in scope and function as required. 


Knowledge of:

  • Federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding water conservation, water use, water loss, outdoor water efficiency, and groundwater.
  • Principles and practices of program development and implementation.
  • Practices and methods for developing public education and outreach programs and materials.
  • Principles and practices of groundwater monitoring and management.
  • Basic budgetary and fiscal practices and procedures.
  • General terminology and concepts associated with hydrology, groundwater, water meters, landscape systems, indoor and outdoor water fixtures, and plumbing systems as they relate to the area of assignment.
  • Statistical and research methods as applied to collection and analyzing data related to the water conservation program.
  • Data and record keeping methods and principles.
  • Standard office practices and procedures, including computer applications related to the area of assignment.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City in contacts with contractors, government agencies, community groups, and various business, educational, and other organizations.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service to the public and City staff, in person, over the phone, and via email.

Ability to:

  • Plan, organize, and coordinate water conservation programs and projects.
  • Clearly and accurately communicate the goals of the water conservation program to the public, City Council, other City staff, community groups, and others. 
  • Make effective presentations to organizations and stakeholders regarding the water conservation and related programs.
  • Provide professional and technical support in the creation of codes and policies related to assigned program areas.
  • Prioritize and coordinate work in a deadline and project-oriented environment.
  • Analyze, interpret, and explain applicable laws, codes, regulations, ordinances, and policies.
  • Prepare accurate, effective, clear, and concise reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, public information and education materials, ordinances, and other written materials.
  • Maintain accurate logs and records of work performed.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and sound judgment within general policy and legal guidelines.
  • Effectively represent the City in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, and other individuals and organizations.
  • Review legislative and technological changes and recommend operational and code changes as appropriate.
  • Work in a team atmosphere and participate on a variety of departmental and City-wide committees to enhance the provision of City services.
  • Work with diverse populations and maintain an inclusive environment.
  • Effectively communicate in both oral and written forms. 
  • Effectively use and learn to use computer programs and systems related to the functions of the job. 
  • Analyze and accurately interpret and evaluate technical issues and make appropriate recommendations for actions. 
  • Use database management and geographic information systems to organize and display data. 
  • Read and interpret building and construction plans.
  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.
  • Meet the physical requirements necessary to safely and effectively perform required duties.



Graduation from a four-year college or university with major coursework in environmental science, hydrology, engineering, or a related field;




Three years of experience providing technical support to water conservation or water-related programs, preferably including experience working with the public and applying state water conservation regulations;




An equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • A valid California class C driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.
  • Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Grade 1 certification within one year of hire.
  • Water Loss Audit Validator certification within two years of hire. 
  • Water Use Efficiency Practitioner Grade 2 certification within three years of hire.
  • Water Distribution Grade 2 certification or Water Treatment Grade 2 certification is highly desirable.



  • Pre-Employment Physical
  • Live Scan Fingerprinting – DOJ
Job Category
Local Government
Career Level
Mid Level

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