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Feb 20 / BARD CEP

Agricultural Water Project Manager, Environmental Defense Fund – Various locations

Organization: Environmental Defense Fund

Position Title: Agricultural Water Project Manager

Location: The Agricultural Water Project Manager will have the option to work beside EDF’s experts on supply chains based in Bentonville, Arkansas, EDF’s water or agriculture staff in Boulder, Colorado. Other arrangements may also be possible, particularly locations in Arizona.

Dates and compensation: Commensurate with experience; this is a nine month grant-funded opportunity with a deadline of November 30, 2015. Depending on scoping study results and additional fundraising, there may be opportunities to continue this work further.

Application Deadline: Position open until filled

Description: The Agricultural Water Project Manager will design and implement a scoping study exploring retail supply chain opportunities focused on produce production in the Lower Colorado River Basin area that influence Western agricultural producers’ water efficiency, conservation, and participation in water markets and create an internal strategy paper outlining those opportunities and next steps to further explore and develop the opportunities. In coordination with the EDF Colorado River Program and with the guidance of the Corporate Partnerships Program, the Agricultural Water Project Manager will incorporate into this scoping exercise the identification of potential tools or mechanisms to generate environmental benefits from water conservation, efficiency, and other markets driven by supply chain opportunities. The Agricultural Water Project Manager will use the ideas, outcomes and data from the internal strategy paper to help design a sustainable agricultural water protocol and pilot on optimizing supply chain water use while maintaining high agricultural productivity and generating measurable stream flow, riparian, or groundwater supply benefits.


Work with EDF staff, consultants, academic and business partners, and others to:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the current issues relevant to western water law and western agriculture and irrigation water management.
  • Map the western agricultural supply chain and nodes of influence; identify and interview key players to assess possible paths for driving desired changes and likely hurdles.
  • Incorporate development and testing of mechanisms to generate environmental benefits from water conservation, efficiency, and other markets driven by supply chain opportunities into this scoping exercise.
  • Identify thought leaders on western water and agriculture and assess potential of innovations and alternative approaches to achieve desired changes.
  • Synthesize findings into a strategy document, including environmental, financial, and regulatory implications.
  • Use learnings and additional interviews to inform draft recommendations for a supply-chain based sustainable agricultural water protocol.
  • Design a process to pilot the protocol and test some of the assumptions of environmental benefit; recruit at least 2 supply chain companies to     participate.
  • Leverage EDF’s scoping study and lessons learned to evaluate similar opportunities in California’s Central Valley.
  • Communicate project results to EDF staff, corporate partners, businesses, and other stakeholders through reports, presentations, and other methods.

In addition to these responsibilities, the incumbent may participate in general program activities, and be an overall team player in a vibrant and entrepreneurial organization.

Qualifications: The optimal candidate will have deep knowledge of western agriculture and environmental issues; a strong background in business and supply chains; and an understanding of the broad range of environmental challenges facing retail and consumer product companies. The qualifications for this position include:

  • Master’s degree or higher in business, environmental science, agriculture, hydrology, or other relevant discipline.
  • A solid educational background or experience in quantification and measurement; experience with food production and supply chains preferred.
  • Strong analytical skills and experience in performing rigorous analysis in support of highly visible work.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse stakeholders, from growers to scientists to retailers.
  • Solid experience in project management.
  • A broad understanding of western agricultural water issues.
  • Understanding of, or experience in, business management or strategy, especially in retail supply chains.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Ability to juggle many tasks and deadlines and to respond quickly to changing opportunities.
  • An ability to work both independently and as a member of small teams in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment.
  • A willingness to undertake extensive travel to sites in Arizona, California, Colorado and Arkansas.

How to Apply: Go to this EDF job listing to apply.

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