Catchment Innovator

South East Water

Arlington, Sussex and Snodland, Kent
c.£35,000 pa dependent on experience

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: water & hydrology

Closing date: Sunday, 30th September 2018  

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a 'Catchment Innovator' to join our South East Water Catchment Team. The successful applicant will help with planning the delivery of our catchment management schemes under our challenging 2020 Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP).

As a water provider, our business is intrinsically linked with the environment within which we operate. We have a growing role in protecting the environment and influencing the work of others to achieve environmental goals. Our job is not only to manage the resilience of the raw product, but understand both current and future threats to it too. Only then can we be confident of supplying our customers with safe, sustainable and reliable water supplies - not just for the next five years but for future generations too. Our work aims to prevent further decline of water quality from pesticides, nutrients, urban chemicals and sediment whilst providing wider benefits (e.g. biodiversity, farm business performance and water quantity).

The successful applicant will be a highly motivated, self-starter with a passion for catchment management and improving the environment. The role will report to the National Environment Programme (NEP) Restoring Sustainable Abstraction (RSA) Investigation and Groundwater Catchment Management Lead and will be expected to help plan and deliver our 2020 catchment management strategy, with a focus on our groundwater and surface water delivery schemes. The post holder will bring new ideas into the team and be able to follow through to design and implementation. The role will suit an individual from an agricultural, scientific, environmental, water company or regulatory background.

 Main Responsibilities:

  • Aid the development of our 2020 WINEP catchment management programme
  • Assess and benchmark catchment management programmes.
  • Identify and develop strategies for the delivery of our WINEP catchment management programme; including setting up partnership working arrangements with environmental bodies, catchment partnerships, academic institutions and neighbouring water companies.
  • Develop measures for our catchment management schemes to demonstrate the successfulness of our catchment management programmes (groundwater and surface water).
  • Develop and trial new innovative strategies for catchment management (e.g. payment for ecosystem services, reverse type auctions, capital grants scheme, integrated pest management, natural capital accounting, area payments for land use change, new monitoring or mapping methods etc.)
  • Co-ordinate, inspire and support our surface water and groundwater Catchment Officers and Advisors to help develop and deliver our strategy.
  • Support reporting of progress to our Regulators.
  • Maintain links and develop new university connections for a wide range of research projects.
  • Promote knowledge exchange between partnerships, academic institutions and Regulators.
  • Produce project scopes and help to build legal contracts with the support of our Legal Team.
  • Keep abreast of government policy changes (e.g. agricultural reforms, DEFRA 25 year plan).
  • Ensure that our environmental performance commitments are achieved and statutory obligations are met under the WINEP.

 The successful applicant must be able to:

  • Write reports and tailor to appropriate audience (e.g. technical, scientific, regulatory, stakeholders and general public).
  • Work directly with landowners, land managers, and agronomists to assess and mitigate risks within our catchments.
  • Work with neighbouring water companies to deliver catchment management schemes.
  • Manage time effectively and be able to prioritise a busy and varied workload.
  • Present to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Be a team player and willing to work as part of a wider catchment team
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision.

Key requirements:

 The successful candidate will have some, but not necessarily all, of the requirements below:

  • Ideally professionally qualified (e.g. to HND / degree / PhD level) in a relevant subject, however, we would also consider applicants with experience in an agricultural, farming or an environmental background.
  • Experience or awareness of agricultural land management. FACTS and BASIS qualified advantageous, but not essential.
  • Have an understanding of rural and urban pollution sources (point source and diffuse pollution) and pathways to water (or other receptors).
  • Experience and understanding of environmental legislation relating to the farmed environment including knowledge of Countryside Stewardship Scheme or Environmental Land Management.
  • Be an excellent communicator and able to inspire stakeholders, other sectors and general public, with strong diplomacy and negotiation skills.
  • Able to write concise and technical reports under challenging timeframes.
  • Some experience of either catchment management, payment for ecosystem services or natural capital.
  • Excellent data management skills and proficient in key MS Office packages such as Word and Excel. GIS skills beneficial, but not essential.
  • Must have a clean driving licence and be willing to travel within our supply area.

What we offer:

  • Pension Scheme –Company contribution of up to 10% of salary (based on level of employee contribution)
  • Life Assurance – 4 x salary
  • Flexible annual leave – ability to buy or sell holiday each year
  • Health Cash plan – employees can claim money back for a wide-range of healthcare costs such as dental, optical, prescription, X-ray and MRI scans
  • Employee Assistance Programme – confidential counselling and advice
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Ride to work
  • Season ticket loans
  • Corporate rate deals – EE phone deal, Virgin Media, Toshiba, Bosch and many local gym corporate rates

 Please note that the interviews are taking place on Wednesday 10th October.

Please note, we reserve the right to close or extend this position depending on application numbers. Therefore we would urge candidates to submit an application as early as possible.

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