Back to Results

Adjudications Assessment Section Manager (WMS Band 2)

Legal Jobs
Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
August 01, 2019
Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, WA
Years of Experiences
5 - 10
Career Level
Manager (Manager/Supervisor of Staff)
Education Level
Master's Degree
$88,983.00 - $111,060.00 Annually

About Washington State Department of Ecology

The Department of Ecology is Washington's environmental protection agency. Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's land, air and water for current and future generations. We support environmental work throughout Washington. Nearly 70 percent of our budget is passed through to local communities to pay for projects that benefit the environment. We were founded in 1970 as the first agency in the nation dedicated to environmental protection.

Contact name

Job description

An image without description


An image without description

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

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. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, and believes in the fun factor, Ecology is a good fit.

The Water Resources program (WR) is looking to hire an Adjudications Assessment Section Manager (WMS Band 2) in our Headquarters building  located in Lacey, WA. The Water Resources Program is responsible for program-wide activities related to water rights, and this position is explicitly responsible for devising a strategy for water adjudications governed by RCW 90.03.105 – 90.03.245.

The Adjudications Assessment Section Manager position is responsible for implementing the legislature's direction in the FY20 operating budget: To assess and explore opportunities to resolve water rights uncertainties and disputes through adjudications in selected basins where tribal senior water rights, unquantified claims, and similar uncertainties about the seniority, quantity, and validity of water rights exist. This position is also responsible to coordinate with the Water Resources program and the agency to develop an appropriate budget request to implement the recommendations described in the report.  Work will include coordination and outreach to the Office of Financial Management, Governor's Office, stakeholders, and legislators to compile a supportable budget request for the 2021 legislative session, as well as providing information to legislative committees and staff, often within short timeframes, including testifying before committees to present report findings and information to support the budget request.
Our top applicant will possess excellent organizational skills and the ability to promptly design and execute a complex project plan. The successful candidate will have superb communication skills and be able to effectively and successfully communicate with audiences ranging from state and tribal elected officials, to members of the general public who are unfamiliar with water rights adjudication concepts.

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.

To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

 Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts



An image without description

The mission of the Water Resources program (WR) is to manage water resources to meet the current and future needs of the natural environment and Washington's communities. Currently, vast areas of our state lack certainty about who possesses valid rights to use certain quantities of water. This position will design and initiate a strategy to resolve that lack of certainty and improve water management for Washington's future.

This intensive two-year project will be used as the basis for state decisions that will affect water rights management for decades to come. This job is ideal for someone who wants to take on a big challenge that will make a tangible difference for water resources!

Some of the key work activities of the Adjudications Assessment Section Manager position are:

Reaching out to local leaders in watersheds around the state; evaluating factors that make a watershed suitable for a water rights adjudication; and, interfacing with Ecology's leadership team to determine priorities and next steps.

This position is responsible for implementing the legislature's direction in the FY20 operating budget: "[t]o assess and explore opportunities to resolve water rights uncertainties and disputes through adjudications in selected basins where tribal senior water rights, unquantified claims, and similar uncertainties about the seniority, quantity, and validity of water rights exist." This position will be responsible for completing a report due to the legislature by September 1, 2020, and thereafter participating with the agency's leadership team to obtain funding and likely initiate a transition from assessment and planning to filing of court actions to commence one or more adjudication processes.

It is essential for the individual who fills this position to be cognizant of the potential for serious practical and public relations consequences if the work is not pursued in a skillful and timely manner, and to pursue the work accordingly.
This position will involve extensive travel around the state, and work hours will frequently exceed 8 hours in any given day. Project deadlines are in statute, so there can be very little slippage in schedule in order to keep the project on track. The successful candidate must demonstrate capability as a self-starter who accomplishes high quality and timely work with nominal supervision.
This position is open until filled, with an initial screening on August 8, 2019. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before August 7, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

Please note: This position is being re-posted in order to increase the size of the applicant pool. If you would like to be considered for this position, you must reapply.


Please Note: This is a project position that is funded until June 30, 2021


Required Qualifications:

Master's degree or higher with emphasis in environmental, water, land use or related fields.

  • Seven or more years of professional experience in analysis of policies and laws related to water resources.

  • At least five years of experience leading complex projects including at least one major project that had no precedent.

  • Demonstrable engagement in work involving water law and water policy in Washington State.

  • Experience working with stakeholders, local governments, tribes, and executives on policy, legal, and regulatory issues.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Law degree with emphasis in environmental, water, and/or federal Indian law.

  •  Valid membership in Washington State Bar Association.

  •  Undergraduate or graduate degree in environmental studies, natural resources management, environmental planning, environmental law, hydrogeology, natural sciences, or political science.

  •  Experiential understanding of cultures and points of view of federally-recognized Indian Tribes.

  •  Experience with water rights adjudications – their purpose, process, and potential pathways to resolution.

Why work for Ecology?

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 the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s)Public Employees Retirement System (PERS),  Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions

In order to be considered, please:

  • Attach the following documents to your application:

    • A cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required/desired qualifications of this position.

    • A resume outlining your experience.

  • Complete the applicant profile. Or you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

  • Read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume", may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of 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.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.

If you have specific questions about the position, please email Mary Verner at:  Please do not contact Mary to inquire about the status of your application.

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.

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 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.