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Located on the Central Coast of California between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District (the District) is a small independent California Special District created to protect the water rights and supplies of the citizens of the Santa Ynez Valley. Its 2-fold mission is to protect the water resources of the Santa Ynez River from out-of-basin export and to prepare and implement a Groundwater Sustainability Plan in accordance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). The District is not a water purveyor and should be confused with the Improvement District by the same name.
The District is growing and seeks to employ a mid-level Surface Water Rights Program Manager to manage its Surface Water Rights Program. Reporting to the General Manager, the SWR Program Manager will engage in and conduct activities to safeguard the water rights and supplies of the District’s constituents, adjacent to the Santa Ynez River. Such activities will include relevant technical, regulatory and outreach activities to solve surface water, groundwater and environmental issues along the river, while working in partnership with the Uplands Groundwater (SGMA) Program Manager.
Plan, organize and implement actions to protect the water resources of the Santa Ynez River from out-of-basin export;
Interpret, monitor, implement and potentially renegotiate State Water Board orders and local agreements pertaining to the dams on the Santa Ynez River;
Monitor dam operations, with a particular focus on water accumulated and stored for downstream use and call for water right releases;
Work on issues involving quantity and quality of water to be released for downstream users, peak flow (flood) management and endangered species;
Interact with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Cachuma Project) and other out-of-basin interests to include the Gibralter and Juncal Dams;
Interact with fish and wildlife agencies and private fisheries’ interests;
Collaborate with downstream appropriators and riparian water users;
Coordinate with the District’s legal, engineering and environmental (fisheries) consultants to achieve program goals;
Other related responsibilities as required.
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
The ideal candidate will be technically well-founded in environmental science related to surface water resources, while demonstrating successful progressive experience managing related complex projects and/or programs;
Knowledge of water law and regulations, specifically surface water law, and demonstrable client experience and the ability to interface effectively with regulators, necessary;
Proficiency in working with government agencies and officials, together with private interests, including the agricultural community, necessary;
Strong written and oral communication skills, necessary;
Proficient leadership abilities, necessary;
Ability to effectively integrate technical and regulatory information in achieving successful resolutions involving difficult issues, necessary.
Education and Experience:
B.Sc. degree in an environmental discipline focused on surface water hydrology, necessary; M.Sc. degree preferred;
Knowledge of related hydrogeology, biology and engineering disciplines, necessary;
10-15 years of progressive technical and managerial experience involving projects related to surface water and corresponding environmental issues, including fisheries, within the framework of regulatory compliance and permitting, necessary.