World Wide Fund
Posted Job
about 1 year ago

Senior Hydrologist

WWF (The World Wide Fund for Nature) is an International Non-Governmental Organization. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF is working with companies, governments, communities and other partners in watershed protection and the sustainable management of shared water resources in the public interest through collective actions at basin level. WWF has worked on freshwater conservation for decades and is a strong advocate for responsible private sector engagement on water issues.

The Position-Senior Hydrologist.

The Senior Hydrologist serves as the technical lead for the Zambezi Freshwater Programme hosted by WWF Zambia. Key elements of this programme include a focus on implementation of environmental flows (eflows) for restoration or maintenance of clean, healthy rivers in the Zambezi River Basin and ensuring the conservation of critical freshwater habitats throughout Zambia. The programme targets key stakeholders, and aims to have them contribute to ensure that connectivity of freshwater habitats is secured and environmental flows are protected or restored to sustain freshwater ecosystem functions, build climate resilience and support critical livelihoods. This is a high profile technical position within a fast moving and effective conservation organization, sought to connect our work on species and habitat conservation to the hydrological properties of ecosystems.

Essential Functions

  • Lead the technical engagement with government agencies, NGOs, research agencies and private companies in systems planning approaches, hydrological modelling, water allocation regimes, impacts of land uses on water quality, quantity and distribution
  • Play a critical role in the development processes of new hydropower planned for the region. This will include development of technical documents and participation in scientific committees that advise on their location, design, operating rules and biodiversity offsetting options
  • Work with hydropower dam operators to implement environmental flows
  • Influence strategic environmental assessments and water allocation regimes of unregulated stretches of the basin to maximize opportunities for environmental flows implementation
  • Have a clear understanding of the basin’s high water yielding areas and have them prioritised for protection in recognition of their role in ‘driving’ natural flows
  • Develop eflows monitoring and reporting frameworks.
  • Contribute to the identification of sources of funding and lead or participate in the development of project proposals.

Responsibilities and Scope

Technical Supervision:

  • Lead the technical component of WWF Zambia Freshwater Programme with a particular emphasis on the technical implementation of e flows and freshwater ecosystems initiatives in the basin.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • Act as technical point of contact on e flows assessments in the Lower Kafue River and other Zambezi River basin catchments with teams of consultants and catchment stakeholders.
  • Provide technical backstopping on the development of agreements and negotiations with water and power utilities, on topics such as dam operating curves, cross country synchronization of dams, water allocation regimes, and others.
  • Coordinate the implementation of a Zambezi Basin Freshwater Resource Protection Areas initiative and River Basin Vulnerability and Connectivity Assessments.
  • Lead the setup of an environmental flows monitoring program for the basin
  • Contribute to influencing new hydropower developments in terms of their location, design, operating rules, biodiversity offsetting options among others.
  • Provide technical backstopping on Water Stewardship initiatives, and on the development of the Zambia National Water Resources Strategy.
  • Stay abreast of new developments in the field of water or energy policies in the region and ensure timely reaction in cooperation with colleagues
  • Conduct data evaluation and technical review of reports of ad hoc consultants
  • Ensure technical documents are written professionally and in such ways that are accessible to a wide variety of stakeholders.

Capacity Building:

  • Help the Zambezi basin riparian countries to strengthen the capacities of their members/officers for a sound understanding and appreciation of socio-economic issues and ecological complexities as the basis for sustainable hydropower and other large water infrastructure development.

Support to Management:

  • Provide support in cooperating closely with other offices in the WWF network, when developing positions on policies affecting freshwater ecosystems in Basin.
  • Represent WWF Freshwater Program in relevant events or arenas.
  • Provide assistance in any additional related duties as requested or needed.

Qualifications, Experience and Skills


  • Master’s degree in hydrology, hydropower development, natural and water resources management, fluvial geomorphology or in any other academic field relevant to water resources management.

Minimum Experience and Skills:

  • 7 years practical working experience in water resources management, and/or hydropower development/management and experience working with state agencies and NGOs
  • 5 years’ experience in the energy sector and related water policy work
  • Good understanding of hydropower risks and opportunities in relation to environmental, economic and social aspects
  • Knowledge of international standards for hydropower development.
  • Strong technical knowledge of Hydrology, Integrated Water Resource Management, Meteorology, Sediment transport
  • Knowledge of environmental flow literature and modelling techniques required.
  • Strong organizational, data gathering and analytical skills
  • Experiences with multi-stakeholder dialogue facilitation, conflict resolution and negotiation relating to hydropower development
  • Proven ability to support national dialogue processes and interact with a range of stakeholders in cross cultural and bi-lingual settings
  • Experience working with private sector stakeholders in the energy sector
  • Excellent adherence to WWF’s working ethics of demonstrating reliability, communicating constructively, listening actively, sharing openly and willingly, cooperating and pitching in to help, exhibiting flexibility, showing commitment to the team, working as a problem-solver, and lastly, treating others in a respectful and supportive manner
  • Flexibility and ability to meet deadlines, work independently and respond to opportunities
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively, verbally and in writing with a wide range of people in a multicultural environment
  • Very good command of the English language is necessary; knowledge of Portuguese is a major advantage.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

All of the above plus:

  • 5 years of working experience in Southern Africa river basins;
  • 5 years of experience in hydrology and river basin freshwater conservation
  • Experience in the hydropower development process and/or hydropower operations including project feasibility studies, EIA, EIS and water resource planning. This should include direct experience in the project development cycle;
  • Solid grasp of the key technical and management issues within the energy hydro market. Knowledge of markets and regulatory framework in Southern Africa a plus.
  • Excellent knowledge in the fields of river basin planning and management, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology.
  • In-depth knowledge of Zambezi Basin river policies and legislation in at least two of the following fields: environment/water, energy development
  • Knowledge of GIS application is an asset and good skills in Microsoft Office.
  • Familiarity with and networking contacts in the Zambezi River Basin member countries’ national agencies, related to the above tasks
  • Exemplification of WWF’s key behaviors: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly, Innovate fearlessly.

A willingness to be based in Lusaka and the embodiment of WWF Global behavioral competencies:

  • Strive for Impact
  • I am results driven.
  • Everything I do, the way I think, plan and implement is driven by a relentless search for impact.
  • Listen Deeply
  • I go beyond my point of view and strive to see the bigger picture from different perspectives. I stay curious and listen deeply to what others have to say.
  • Collaborate Openly
  • I’m a global citizen working for a living planet.
  • I am constantly thinking of how with others, together, we can be more impactful.
  • I work across boundaries, openly ask for help and share what I know, both internally and externally.
  • Innovate Fearlessly «I take risks to find better solutions. I measure progress and learn from mistakes.
  • I share both success & failures. I encourage others to do the same.

How to Apply

Email a cover letter and Curriculum Vitae clearly indicating the position applied for to the email below:

Kindly note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

WWF is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to having a diverse workforce.

Application deadline
27 Sep 15:00
Email applications to

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