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Water Resources Regional Section Manager (WMS Band 2)

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Water Resources (WR) program within the Department of Ecology is currently looking to fill a Water Resources Regional Section Manager (WMS Band 2) position. This position will be located in our Central Region Office (CRO) in Union Gap, WA
In this role, you will oversee water resource management in Central Washington, which includes Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Yakima, Benton, and Klickitat Counties. You will lead a dynamic team of 26 staff, including permit writers, compliance and enforcement leads, administrative professionals, and hydrogeologists.
The mission of the Water Resources (WR) program is to manage water resources to meet the current and future needs of the natural environment and Washington's communities.
This position supports the program’s mission by working closely with communities and partners to oversee effective management of the water resource within the region. The position assures that regulation, allocation, conservation and protection of water resources in the region are consistent with laws, rules, policies and procedures, and achieve the maximum net benefit to citizens of the state.
This position is eligible for a telework agreement in compliance with Ecology guidance. The Section Manager’s assigned duty station is the Central Region Office in Union Gap, where this position will work an average of two or three days per week. The Section Manager will sometimes work from the Ecology headquarters office in Lacey, another Ecology facility, or in the field as needed to engage with staff and other internal and external partners. 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, the next screening date is September 26, 2022. In order to be considered for the next screening, please submit an application on or before September 25, 2022. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people.
Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.
Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 

What makes this role unique? 
The Central Region includes some of the most intensely irrigated areas of the state with some of the most difficult water management challenges. The region frequently interacts with tribal governments, which are heavily involved with water resources management decisions, as well as federal water project managers. Many watersheds within the region have an instream flow rule limiting water resource allocation. Decisions of the position affect the well-being of citizens and businesses and the quality of the natural environment.
 What you will do:  
  • Support Ecology’s mission by working closely with communities and partners to oversee effective management of water resources within the region. 
  • Assure that water uses in the region are regulated, allocated, conserved, and protected consistent with laws, rules, policies and procedures, and achieve the maximum net benefit to citizens of the state. 
  • Represent Ecology's water resources interests with local government, state and federal agencies, business, industry, agriculture, tribes, and in administrative appeals board hearings and State and Federal Courts.
  • One of four positions in the Water Resources Program with similar duties in four different regions of the state, representing the Central Region as a member of the Water Resources Program Leadership Team, and representing the Water Resources Program on the Regional Management Team.
  • This position makes water rights decisions affecting small landowners to large irrigators and municipal entities. 
  • Manage a dynamic team of professional staff working in the region. 


Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.
A total of Nine (9) years of experience and/or education combined as described below: 
Experience in professional level management, which includes the following:  
  • Leadership and problem-solving experience related to complex natural resource management issues. 
  • Experience providing oversight and direction of a program's diverse functions to meet overall program objectives. 
  • Experience with meeting management, and consensus building in a dynamic environment addressing complex issue. 
  • Budget management experience. 
  • Strategic planning experience including the ability to conceptualize and articulate the future direction of a program.  
Education: involving a major study in public administration, business administration, environmental management, natural sciences, natural resources, environmental sciences, physical sciences, engineering, planning, or other related field. 
See chart below for a list of ways to qualify for this position:   

Possible Combinations

College credit hours or degree

Years of professional level management experience - as listed above

Combination 1

No college credit hours or degree

9 years of experience

Combination 2

30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits.

8 years of experience

Combination 3

60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree).

7 years of experience

Combination 4

90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits.

6 years of experience

Combination 5 

A Bachelor's Degree 

5 years of experience

Combination 6

A Master’s Degree or above

3 years of experience

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below. 
  • Advanced degree in engineering, environmental science, public administration, a law degree, or other closely aligned field. 
  • Two or more years of experience supervising a work unit. 
  • Advanced knowledge of state water resources laws and issues. 
Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.
Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply: 
Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • Three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable. 
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees: 
Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed. 

Other Information:
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Ria Berns at Ria.Berns@ecy.wa.govPlease do not contact Ria to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email
Why work for Ecology?

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency.