Watershed Advisor (WA)

USAID Karnali Water Activity

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Detailed Job description / requirements:



Watershed Advisor (WA)
Maximum Level of Effort
Base of Operations
4 positions total, 1 in each watershed (Rara, Tila, Lower Karnali, and Middle Karnali)
Deputy Chief of Party


The USAID/Nepal Karnali Water Activity will create healthy, resilient, and water secure communities at the watershed level through strengthened water and sanitation governance that improves water resource management (including water for more resilient and biodiverse ecosystems), enhances sustainable access to drinking water, improves agriculture water management, and reduces the fecal pathogen burden in the environment from poorly managed non-sewered sanitation through fecal sludge management. The program team will methodically integrate WRM, watershed biodiversity conservation, and water and sanitation service delivery by mapping and strengthening the roles, connections, and capacities of key actors and stakeholders system-wide.


The Watershed Advisor will provide day-to-day support and on-the-ground monitoring and oversight for the effective implementation of integrated watershed conservation and development activities in each respective watershed. S/he will work closely with their field site team to implement, coordinate, and track outcomes against programmatic objectives, workplans, and targets. This will include the coordination and convening of stakeholders (e.g. municipal staff, provincial staff, mothers’ groups, CFUGs, WUSCs, local NGOs, agro-dealers, producers’ groups, WUAs, and other implementing partners, such as the USAID Bhakari Activity) to build a shared understanding and vision for each watershed, while forging consensus on water resource conservation and biodiversity priorities and actions.

The Karnali Water Activity is complex and its success requires participatory teamwork that supports “ownership” through new collaboration and coordination mechanisms among stakeholders at various levels. The position will support the establishment of multi-stakeholder One Water Steering Committees (OWSCs), which will serve as a convening platform for watershed actors to jointly develop, implement, and monitor of watershed management plans. In particular, the position will support OWSC members to use scientific evidence to forge consensus on intervention sites and activities to strengthen critical habitats and support ecosystems-based WRM for sustainable WSS services. Intervention areas will be demarcated and activities co-designed, executed, and monitored. Watershed management plan activities may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Construction and/or rehabilitation of small storage tanks/rainwater harvesting
  • Bioengineered gully protection
  • Recharge ponds to divert rainfall to the subsurface, and recharge trenches along hillslopes to increase aquifer infiltration of monsoon rains 
  • Rehabilitation of spring taps and intakes
  • Construction of green infrastructure such as retention ponds or recharge ponds 
  • Upstream reforestation and river bank stabilization to reduce soil erosion
  • Restoration of vulnerable high-value fish populations

The Watershed Advisor will supervise Municipal Coordinators and work closely with Field Engineers and the Watershed Biodiversity and Conservation Specialist and the Deputy Chief of Party to ensure integration and alignment with municipal level WASH Plans and WSS activities. 


The WA will be responsible for the following tasks, but not limited to: 

  • Facilitate site-based technical activities that achieve improved management of critical watersheds or water resources in alignment with co-developed watershed management plans, Water Use Masters Plans (WUMPs) and WASH Plans;
  • With guidance from the Watershed Biodiversity and Conservation Specialist, facilitate the development and implementation of evidence-based watershed management plans with support from the Karnali Water Activity MERL team and Field Engineers;
  • Facilitate and support Local Governments (LGs)in planning, coordinating and budgeting for WRM activities as per WUMP and watershed management plan priorities;
  • Assist LGs and watershed stakeholders in assessing their ecological and water source assets and develop plans to manage shared resources. Plans will outline roles and responsibilities, resources, targets, and budgets;
  • With guidance from Watershed Biodiversity and Conservation Specialist, coordinate with local stakeholders on all watershed, forest and water source interventions—ensuring IWRM principles are applied across programming;
  • Work with local governments, Karnali Water Activity Municipal Coordinators and DCOP, and other partners to institutionalize linkages between up- and downstream stakeholders to ensure sustainable and equitable allocation and distribution of clean water for water supply services;
  • Support various baseline, end line, and other data collection efforts including surveys and research activities;
  • Coordinate capacity building training for watershed management actors;
  • Work with the Watershed Biodiversity and Conservation Specialist and the WASH Governance Manager in developing sustainable financing mechanisms, such as the PES.
  • Maintain excellent working relationships with LGs, CSOs/resource user groups, and local implementing partners (including grant recipients);
  • Work closely with the elected representatives and staff of local governments to ensure that WUMP projects and schemes and priority actions of watershed management plans are integrated into annual LG planning and budget is allocated for their implementation;
  • Manage Municipal Coordinator(s).


  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Biology, Rural Development, Public Administration, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Management, Forestry or Engineering. Master’s degree preferred;
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience (or 6 years with a Master’s degree), particularly in supporting WASH, watershed management, water resources management or environmental management sector;
  • Possesses strong facilitation and social mobilization skills;
  • Experience working with LGs, line agencies, NGOs/CBOs and local communities, preferably with the Karnali River Basin (highly desirable);  
  • Extensive experiences in training and capacity building of public officials, LGs, users’ groups and communities;
  • Familiar with local planning process and the functions of the local governments;
  • Demonstrated ability to work as an interdisciplinary team player to implement place-based activities and promote goals and objectives of KAWAS Program working closely with colleagues to contribute to a constructive and professional working environment;
  • Experiences in managing USAID funded projects and experiences in water security would be added advantage;
  • An energetic, forward-thinking, and creative individual with high ethical standards and appropriate professional image;
  • An extremely well organized and self-directed individual with sound technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment, and strong operational focus; and
  • Good written and oral communication skills with fluency in both Nepali and English.

Priority will be given to those applicants who are permanent residents of Rara Khatyad watershed, Tila Karnali watershed, Middle Karnali Watershed, or Lower Karnali Watershed. 




Select the position in which you are interested in applying for, fill out the required information, and upload CV. Please indicate what location you are applying for. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as interviews will be conducted soon. Please note, due to the volume of applications that we receive and the urgency to fill-up positions, only shortlisted applicants will receive notification on next steps. 

Interested candidates should submit their application no later than November 11, 2021 

Job Overview

Category Development and Project
Openings 4
Position Type Full Time
Experience 10+ years
Education Please check vacancy details
Posted Date 22 Oct, 2021
Apply Before 11 Nov, 2021
City Kathmandu