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Employment Type:
Part time
Job Category:
County of Sonoma Jobs
County of Sonoma | Larkfield, California
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Job Description

The Water Agency Principal Program Specialist develops, implements, and oversees Sonoma Water's Water Use Efficiency Program and supports Sonoma Water's water use efficiency goals. This position administers the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, manages regional grants, and oversees water conservation budgets.  Additional responsibilities include:

  • Coaching, mentoring, and supervising Water Use Efficiency staff
  • Directing, developing, and implementing programs to reduce potable water demands, monitor sanitation inflows, and support sustainable landscape practices
  • Ensuring that Sonoma Water continues to advance water conservation activities and serve as a spokesperson and representative of Sonoma Water

The ideal candidate will be an effective communicator who is able to maintain collaborative relationships with community groups and other stakeholders, and will possess:

  • Significant experience working in the field of water conservation and knowledge of industry best practices
  • Experience working with existing conservation programs and in the development of new programs in support of emerging technology
  • Experience developing and implementing water use efficiency programs
  • A Grade II Water Use Efficiency Practitioner certificate from the CA/NA Section of the American Water Works Association

What Sonoma County Employment Offers

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better your community. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $1,700 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range

About Sonoma Water

Sonoma Water is a special district formed by the California State Legislature in 1949 and is responsible for providing a safe and reliable water supply to its customers in Sonoma and Marin counties. Sonoma Water also maintains 75 miles of flood control channels and provides sanitation services. Employing approximately 230 employees, Sonoma Water consists of five divisions including Engineering and Resource Planning, Environmental Resources and Public Affairs, Water/Wastewater Operations, Maintenance, and Administrative Services. Sonoma Water supports the concept of environmental sustainability, focusing on renewable power sources, and strives to be a leader in its water conservation and fishery restoration programs.

Please note: Employees of Sonoma Water are employees of a special district and are not subject to the provisions of the Civil Service Ordinance of the County of Sonoma.

The Official Title for this position is Water Agency Principal Program Specialist. 

* Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of the list. County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.



Minimum Qualifications


Education & Experience: Any combination of education and training which would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed.  Normally, a Bachelor's degree with major course work in water related science, environmental studies, environmental law, education, political science, communications, public relations, or a closely related field; and four years of progressively responsible experience in the implementation of water-related programs, including expertise in water use efficiency, government affairs, or media relations which includes the preparation, implementation, and management of water use efficiency or water education programs, including at least one year of experience at the level of Water Agency Senior Programs Specialist, or equivalent.  One year of lead or supervisory experience is highly desired.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Thorough knowledge of: principles, practices and methods of water use efficiency and natural resource conservation; strategies and methods for effective educational programs; methods of conservation program implementation and monitoring, including plumbing efficiency, landscaping and turf, and urban and non-urban water reuse; principles and techniques of establishing and maintaining effective public relations; English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation; fundamentals of mass communication, public speaking, journalism, and social media; principles of graphic design and production; and techniques and methods of research, report writing and preparation of informational materials.

Considerable knowledge of: environmental principles and operation of water supply facilities and distribution systems;  methods of water treatment and recycling, landscape design and installation practices; California State Science Standards; California Water Codes and related laws; Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and court decisions including water law, water rights, environmental compliance process, species and habitat protection, and water efficiency use and education; methods, and techniques of legislative process and implementation; environmental regulations and environmental enhancement and restoration methods related to operation and construction of water supply, flood control, renewable energy, recycled water, and wastewater treatment facilities; forecasting and statistics and their application in analysis; group dynamics as it relates to public organizations; modern office methods, procedures, and equipment, including computers and applicable software applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and databases.

Working knowledge of: management and leadership styles and techniques designed to train, supervise, motivate and lead a group of employees, which includes understanding employee behavior and performance standards; effective supervision; techniques and methods of training employees in work procedures; interviewing techniques; modern personnel and fiscal administration; modern principles and practices of budget preparation and control; and legislative budgeting and funding process and programs.

Ability to: lead, assign, prioritize, train, and monitor the work of others; communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing; investigate, assess, and evaluate data and develop an effective course of action; work independently in performing most work assignments, and in resolving problems and deviations; plan, organize and direct the activities of the water use efficiency or water education programs; train, develop and motivate staff; schedule, manage, and direct the implementation, coordination, and evaluation of water use efficiency programs and projects; collect, compile and analyze water use and supply data and assess the cost effectiveness of water use efficiency, public outreach and water education programs; negotiate agreements with various agencies and special interests to facilitate program activities; speak effectively in public before diverse groups including boards, councils, commissions, community groups, and student groups; establish and maintain effective working relationships with persons possessing a wide variety of divergent views; plan, organize and coordinate a comprehensive water use efficiency  public relations program; compile clear and concise reports, letters, newsletters and other written materials; coordinate educational and informational seminars and workshops; communicate verbal and written ideas clearly and logically; and use personal computers and appropriate software applications to perform duties.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.

Please visit Getting a Job with the County of Sonoma to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and department selection processes.


Responses to supplemental questions will be scored using position-specific criteria. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses which state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient and therefore may not be scored.

The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:
An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant's application and supplemental questionnaire for satisfaction of minimum qualifications (pass/not pass); and for educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities which relate to this position. Each applicant will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of work history, related experience, and achieved level of education and/or training as described in the application and responses to the supplemental questions.

Candidates demonstrating possession of the minimum qualifications will be placed on an employment list in order of most qualified to least qualified based on the achieved score received in the Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination. Scores may be adjusted based on such factors as number of candidates, anticipated vacancies, past practice, and natural breaks in the scores achieved by this group of candidates.

A background investigation is required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer are contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


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