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Director, Austin Water

Location:  City of Austin, TX Download:  City of Austin, TX - Director, Austin Water - brochure

About Austin, TX

This vibrant and dynamic city tops numerous lists for business, entertainment, and quality of life. One of the country's most popular and culturally dynamic cities, Austin was ranked #1 by the Wallstreet Journal in 2020 as the Hottest Job Market in the USA. Austin was selected as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #1 Best Place to Live in Texas by U.S. News & World Report in 2022 and ranked in the top ten on Forbes list of America's Best Employers in 2017. In support of the LGBTQ people who live and work in Austin, in 2020 and the previous seven years, the City of Austin scored 100 points out of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign. 

Austin is a beacon of sustainability, social equity, and economic opportunity: where diversity and creativity are celebrated, where community needs and values are recognized, where leadership comes from its community members, and where the necessities of life are affordable and accessible to all. 

Emerging as a player on the international scene, Austin is well known for its diverse events such as the Austin Marathon, Rodeo Austin, Austin Urban Music Festival, Blues on the Green, Austin Pride Festival, Austin Trail of Lights, SXSW, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1, and being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Oracle, IBM, Tesla, Google, and Ascension Seton Health. From the home of state government and institutions of higher education to the "Live Music Capital of the World" and its growth as a film center, Austin has gained worldwide attention as a hub for education, business, health, smart mobility, and sustainability.  From its founding in 1835 through the year 2000, Austin's population roughly doubled every 20 years. Austin's population continues to increase, with more than 100 people moving to the Austin area daily. 

The city offers a wide range of events, from music concerts, food festivals, and sports competitions to museum displays, exhibits, and family fun. Austin is also home to a wonderful ballet, world-class museums, one-of-a-kind shopping, and beautiful outdoor spaces. You can just as easily spend your morning paddling the lake as you can strolling through a celebrated history museum. 

Located at the edge of the Texas Hill Country, a rolling terrain of limestone bluffs, springs, rivers, and lakes, Austin’s climate is ideal for year-round jogging, cycling, hiking on the city's many trails, or swimming at Barton Springs or one of the area's many other swimming holes. There are several excellent golf courses in the area, as well as opportunities for rowing, kayaking, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, disc golf, mountain biking, fishing, and more. Austin has something for everyone. 

Austin City Government

The City of Austin is a progressive, full-service municipal organization operating under the Council-Manager form of government. Austin’s mayor is elected from the city at large, and ten council members are elected from single-member districts. Terms of the mayor and council members are four years, and terms are staggered so that a general election is held every two years, with half the council being elected at each election. Term limits for the mayor and council members provide for two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for the appointment of the City Manager, who is the Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the City, City Clerk, City Auditor, Municipal Court Judges, and the Municipal Court Clerk. 

The City of Austin has several municipal utilities funded by rates and fees including Austin Water, Austin Energy, Austin Resource Recovery, and Watershed Protection. 

To learn more about the dynamic City of Austin, visit 

Austin Water

Austin Water, operated and maintained by the City of Austin, Texas, consists of three unique but interconnected utilities: water, wastewater, and reclaimed water. Every day, Austin Water is committed to providing safe, reliable, high-quality, and affordable water services to their customers. Today, the Utility serves over 1,000,000 residential customers in the Austin metropolitan area, across more than 548 square miles. 

The utility draws water from the Colorado River into three regional water treatment plants: Handcox, Davis, and Ullrich, which have a combined capacity of 335 million gallons per day. Austin Water consistently ranks among the best in the country when it comes to water quality. They also treat, return, and recycle wastewater in ways that protect environmental resources. At all of their water and wastewater treatment plants, Austin Water far exceeds federal and state requirements for clean water and environmental compliance. 

Austin Water has two wastewater treatment plants, Walnut Creek and South Austin Regional, that can receive up to 150 million gallons per day of sewage to treat. Wastewater is cleaned into high-quality effluent that is safely returned to the Colorado River to augment environmental flows. More than a billion gallons of this high-quality effluent are reclaimed each year for outdoor irrigation, industrial cooling, manufacturing and other uses. 

The Position

The Director leads a large, complex organization including water and wastewater services and treatment, reclaimed water services, field operations and maintenance, engineering, water resource planning and analysis, customer experience, financial services, and business services for Austin Water. This executive level position reports to the City Manager’s Office. 

Key Priorities and Projects

·        Water Forward, adopted in 2018, is Austin’s 100-year integrated water resource plan and is currently in the implementation stage.   The 2018 plan embraced an innovative and integrated water management process with the goal of ensuring a diversified, sustainable, and resilient water future with a strong emphasis on water conservation. A 5-year update is underway.  During this update, critical issues will need to be revisited such as water resources (currently Austin relies on a single source and will need to grow current water supplies to serve future populations), conservation, resiliency, climate impacts, and demand management.  The Director will champion the robust public involvement planned for the update process. Conservation will be one of the most important tools in ensuring a sustainable and resilient water future. 

·        Austin Water has a 5-year, $1.37 billion Capital Plan including several critical projects such as an aquifer storage and recovery project to improve Austin’s climate resiliency, water and wastewater treatment plant improvements and expansions, expanding the reclaimed water infrastructure, and a robust infrastructure renewal program.  The Director will lead efforts to plan, prioritize, fund, and implement this robust Capital Program.

·        Over the past few years, disruptions to the drinking water supply, treatment, and distribution have occurred due to a variety of causes (historically low lake levels in 2011-2014, historic flooding in 2018, effects of Winter Storm Uri in 2021, and a high turbidity event at a treatment plant in 2022).  Climate change will continue to test the resiliency of our water supplies. The Director will lead Austin Water’s emergency preparedness efforts to improve the Utility’s resiliency. 

Duties and Functions

Essential duties and functions, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following. Other related duties may be assigned.

·        Providing oversight and direction to the operations and maintenance of the City water, wastewater, and reclaimed systems and services.

·        Establishing departmental rules and regulations.

·        Providing oversight and direction to the Department construction programs.

·        Ensuring compliance with governmental rules and regulations.

·        Offering testimony before appropriate regulatory and governmental bodies.

·        Maintaining liaison with local, State and Federal agencies concerning utility regulations, grants and procedures.

·        Providing oversight and direction to the utility’s annual operating and capital improvement program budget for submission to the City Manager.

·        Providing oversight and direction to utility financial and rate analysis and decisions.

·        Representing the utility before the Mayor and Council, Water & Wastewater Commission, other

·        City departments, County, State and Federal officials, customers, professional associations and general public.

·        Providing oversight and direction to the development of short and long term planning goals and objectives for the utility.

·        Oversees development of strategic plans.

·        Develops and updates emergency management plans.

·        Leads, selects, and develops, a senior team of professionals to execute the Utility’s operations and business strategy.

·        Serving on various task groups and committee within the City. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Must possess required knowledge, skills, abilities and experience and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

·        Knowledge of Federal, State, Local laws, and ordinances governing water, wastewater, and reclaimed water.

·        Knowledge of city practice, policy, and procedures.

·        Knowledge of fiscal planning and budget preparation.

·        Knowledge of the principals and practices of public administration.

·        Skill in directing the activities of a large and complex organization.

·        Skill in analyzing problems related to service delivery.

·        Skill in conducting presentations on behalf of a public entity.

·        Skill in projecting needs for equipment and personnel and formulating operating budgets

·        Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with the City Manager and staff, Mayor and City Council, other department Heads, media, city employees and the general public.

·        Ability to manage diversity, understand inclusion, and work with diverse communities/populations to build constructive and effective relationships.

·        Ability to use an equity lens and framework to create inclusive, diverse, and safe workplaces and community programs 

Education and Experience

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Business Administration, Engineering, Public Administration, or a closely related field with ten (10) years of progressively responsible management experience including at least five (5) years of experience with a water and wastewater utility. A related Master’s degree may substitute for two (2) years of the required work experience. 

The Ideal Candidate

Austin Water is a large, complex Utility with three connected, but unique operations (Water, Wastewater, Reclaimed Water). The ideal candidate will have experience working with each enterprise and have a broad understanding of the complexities of managing a large, integrated utility. 

The ideal candidate should be knowledgeable of local, state and federal water and wastewater utility operations and regulations, engineering principles and practices relating to water, wastewater, and reclaimed water infrastructure and construction, and possess financial knowledge to include fiscal planning, budget management and capital improvement projects. 

The ideal candidate should have a comprehensive understanding of water conservation practices and demand management. 

The ideal candidate should be politically savvy and will have the ability to build trust, collaborate, and establish and maintain effective working relationships with the City Manager and staff, Mayor and City Council, other department Heads, media, city employees, community leaders, external stakeholders, and the general public to ensure a common vision is enacted and supported. The ideal candidate should be a champion of transparency and skilled at both internally and externally facing communication.  

The ideal candidate should have strong interpersonal skills, be an effective listener, be responsive to input, and provide timely feedback. This individual should demonstrate the capacity and interest to be an effective mentor for staff. Advanced written and verbal communication skills are imperative for this position. 

The ideal candidate should have demonstrated experience and a commitment to making facilities more resilient by analyzing, prioritizing, and implementing improvements with an asset management focus.


The salary is commensurate based on experience and the approved salary range. The benefits package includes medical, dental and vision coverage, life insurance, compensated leave, short-term disability, and retirement benefits. The City is a member of the Proportionate Retirement Program. Optional benefits include supplemental life insurance, a 457 deferred compensation plan, long-term disability plan, and a legal plan. Visit  to learn more about the City's employee benefits. 

Reasonable relocation benefits will be provided to the successful candidate. 

How to Apply

Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: AWD22

Affion Public
PO Box 794
Hershey, PA 17033

*The deadline to receive resumes is October 27, 2022* 

The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Posted: 06/01/2022