Deputy Director for Water Planning

Job Type

Full Time




Details: Competitive salary based on relative experience.



Start Date


Application Deadline



2260 Baseline Road
Suite 200
United States


Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. We use law, science, and economics to craft innovative solutions to the most pressing conservation issues in the region within three core program areas: Clean Energy, Healthy Rivers, and Western Lands.  


In the face of population growth and climate change, the Western United States needs a strong and effective advocacy voice at the regional level to address changes that are already underway and to steer the West towards a sustainable future. WRA has aggressive plans to tackle these challenges. We envision a future in the West where: 


  • Western rivers and lakes will have abundant clean water to support habitat for fish and wildlife, communities and agriculture, and world class recreational opportunities. The Colorado River will flow to the sea; 
  • Our homes, buildings and transportation systems will be powered by clean energy. The West will prosper in a zero-carbon economy; 
  • Half of western landscapes and habitat will be protected and connected to support thriving wildlife populations and unparalleled opportunities to enjoy the West’s natural beauty; and 
  • The West will have clean air and clean water to support healthy communities and vital habitat. 


Our Healthy Rivers Program promotes policies and initiatives that prioritize water conservation, water recycling, and urban-agricultural cooperation. We work to move away from building new dams and diversions that drain the life from our rivers, and instead to usher in a new era of water management focused on innovation, efficiency, and sharing resources. 


Position Summary 

WRA seeks a passionate Deputy Director for Water Planning with deep knowledge of western water management issues to lead our advocacy efforts to implement sustainable water management policies, including water conservation/efficiency, alternative water supplies, and integrated planning processes. This position requires management of other staff, strategic planning, direct advocacy to policymakers, research, analysis, and writing, as well as working collaboratively with external stakeholders. Reporting to WRA’s Healthy Rivers Program Director, the Deputy Director will collaborate with fellow program staff, conservation community partners, water providers, local governments, and state agencies to advance the next generation of water management strategies. 



The position can be based in WRA’s Boulder or Denver offices, or remotely in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Job Responsibilities 

  • Supervise a team of two water policy analysts and build a culture of collaboration and accountability; 
  • Develop strategic plans to secure sustainable water management policies in communities throughout WRA’s region; 
  • Advocate for innovative water management policies at the state and local level; 
  • Conduct research and provide technical analysis of water policies, programs, and resources that advance local, sustainable water management practices; 
  • Present research findings to utilities, governmental organizations, and conferences; 
  • Build partnerships with stakeholders to develop and advocate for new, viable water management practices at the state and local level; 
  • Coordinate with WRA’s Communications Team on public relations efforts; 
  • Work with the Healthy Rivers Program Director and WRA’s Development Team to write grant proposals and reports; and 
  • Some travel (~10%) is required. 



  • A minimum of five years of relevant work experience with western water supply and demand issues and two years of experience managing staff. 
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing, interpersonal, and public speaking skills. 
  • Ability to apply communications skills to persuade, influence, or lead others on complex subjects, including working directly with water-related decision-making bodies. 
  • Self-motivated, works well independently and enjoys collaborating with a team. 
  • Creativity, patience, and a sense of humor. 
  • Genuine passion for the mission and work of WRA. 
  • Current relationships with water policymakers a plus. 


Competitive salary based on relative experience; the salary range for this position will be provided to applicants invited to a first round interview. WRA’s excellent benefits package includes health, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation leave, sick leave, parental leave, sabbatical leave after five years, and an RTD EcoPass for staff based in the Boulder/Denver area. Position is full-time exempt.

Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

How to Apply  

Applications will only be accepted through WRA’s online portal at will need to upload the following in PDF format through the online portal: 


  • Compelling cover letter to the attention of Richard Trilsch, Vice President of Finance and Administration, explaining how your qualifications match the needs of the position and your interest in WRA; 
  • Resume;  
  • Any salary requirements; and 
  • Three references, including at least one former supervisor, with contact information and a brief description of your relationship. (WRA will not contact references without first checking with the applicant.) 


Please be sure to mention in your cover letter where you saw the job advertised.    


Deadline to Apply: July 31, 2018 


Start Date 

Start date for this position is no earlier than September 10, 2018. 


Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.