Water Projects Manager, Southern Arizona

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The Nature Conservancy

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Tucson, AZ, United States

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16 days ago


Tucson, Arizona, USA

or Sierra Vista, AZ or orther SO AZ locations, USA



The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Water Projects Manager, Southern Arizona develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on Southern Arizona with an emphasis on the Upper San Pedro River subbasin, reporting to the Arizona Water Program Director. In addition, the position also assists other western water projects and/or policy initiatives within Arizona or of other business units, as requested by the Arizona Water Program Director. Posiiton location: hybrid in Tucson, AZ; or remote from Sierra Vista, AZ or other SO AZ locations.


The Water Projects Manager, Southern Arizona provides technical leadership and operational support to the Arizona Chapter by planning, directing and implementing projects and information systems to conserve freshwater systems, and helps to foster cross-site learning regarding regional water management. The position works with a diversity of external conservation planning teams, providing landscape level information relevant to regional water management to conserve freshwater systems. They develop and implement regional groundwater recharge, conservation and management strategies. Position employs a variety of strategies to secure public and private support for TNC conservation priorities, including the coordination of community support. Currently supervises 1 staff person and may supervise other staff or volunteers, helps to oversee a wet-dry mapping program, and manages multiple external engineering and hydrologic consulting contractors. Assists with land acquisition and/or management activities associated with aquifer recharge projects as needed.

A. Water Projects Management (70%)

  • Represent TNC in stakeholder process related to the Upper San Pedro Partnership, Cochise Conservation and Recharge Network and other stakeholder groups.
  • Implement conservation actions to ensure ongoing protection of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.
  • Develop and maintain diverse external relationships to accomplish program goals with stakeholders such as 1) staff and elected officials from towns, cities, county governments, 2) community organizations, 3) landowners, 4) Federal and State agencies and 5) private utility companies for water and sewer services.
  • Cultivate, identify and prioritize projects to implement and support through funding, increased planning and technical assistance. Project types include domestic water conservation programs, leak detection to reduce system losses, aquifer recharge projects and land and water planning efforts.
  • Support implementation of high priority projects by 1) identifying project leads and establishing roles and responsibilities within the project, 2) managing contracts with qualified specialist to develop project design, 3) working internally to develop project budget, 4) upholding TNC’s roles and responsibilities that are established for the project. TNC’s role within a project may include sourcing materials, developing community support for project, securing funding or other roles as needed based on project type and partners’ abilities.
  • Financial responsibility is working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets. When working with federal funding, this also includes proper administration of funding sources.
  • Ensure program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.

B. Monitoring and Evaluation (15%)

  • Coordinate with Science staff, contract hydrologists and local experts to collect data to evaluate effects of potential projects and substantiate the benefits of new projects.
    • In the San Pedro Basin, this is in part the collection of Wet-Dry information on the San Pedro River and its tributaries annually.
    • In the San Pedro Basin, oversee management of the basin integrated hydrologic model that is utilized by TNC and partners.
    • In the San Pedro Basin, assist with the review and discussion of annual hydrologic monitoring reports for existing projects.
  • Outside of the San Pedro basin within Southern Arizona, work with Water Program staff and Science Program staff to understand hydrologic conditions to evaluate, prioritize and document impacts of freshwater conservation projects.
  • Support for other Conservation Programs and AZ Chapter Functions (Approximately 15%)
  • Participate in Arizona Chapter and Colorado River Program meetings and planning efforts.
  • Support other San Pedro River project types such as watershed restoration, watershed report card and building supportive communities.
  • Support projects similar to Upper San Pedro River projects in other geographies when capacity allows and needs are identified.
  • Supervise volunteers and staff (for staff this includes setting work objectives, ongoing performance check-ins and year-end performance evaluation; performance and career coaching).
  • Annually complete required number of hours for supervisory and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEIJ) training.
  • Occasional travel within Arizona and in the U.S. (both with possible over-night stays).
  • Timely and accurate completion of administrative functions such as performance reviews, expense reports, and timecards.


  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management, hydrology, riparian ecology or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience negotiating contracts and/or agreements.
  • Supervisory experience including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Project management experience.
  • Experience communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.
  • Experience working with diverse interests and stakeholders.
  • Experience with principles of land acquisition.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated
  • 5-7 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in western water management and/or water conservation practices
  • Experience working collaboratively with external partners
  • Knowledge of land management conservation practice, conservation science, hydrology, riparian ecology.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, and natural resource management.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on nature.org/careers.

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including; health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, accrued paid time off (including annual, personal, and sick leave), life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellness benefits. Benefits may be subject to generally applicable eligibility, waiting period, contribution, and other requirements and conditions. Learn more about our benefits at nature.org/careers. We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellness, and flexibility needs of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/careers/recruitment/ under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply for job ID 52476, submit your currenr resume and a cover letter online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.