Water Services Director

City of Phoenix
Phoenix, AZ


THIS IS A CRITICAL POSITION. During the current health crisis, any job interviews will be held by video or audio conference.


Please be aware that you may be required to undergo screening for symptoms of COVID-19 which may include answering questions regarding symptoms or having your body temperature read as part of this job.  You may also be required to wear a face covering or use other personal protective equipment (PPE) related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Water Services Director plans, directs, and manages the activities of various divisions of the Water Services Department to provide an adequate, safe, and efficient water supply and wastewater service in the most effective and efficient manner possible.  The work involves responsibility for making decisions on engineering projects and managerial problems, and for the formulation of long-range plans and programs and capital improvement budgets.  Overarching all these responsibilities is the expectation to lead a complex agency within the Council-Manager system.  The Water Services Director must be able to work as a team member of the City Manager’s executive department directors and communicate clearly and regularly with the City Manager and staff, Mayor and City Council and the larger communities of interest.

The City of Phoenix Water Services Department, as a government agency, is fee driven and thereby self-supporting and does not rely upon taxes for its operation. A staff comprised of about 1500 employees - trained engineers, technicians, and office and field service people - provides the department's services to customers within its 540-square mile service area.  Additional department resources consist of a $341 million annual operating budget, and five-year capital improvement budgets of $1.78 billion for water system improvements and $1.19 billion for wastewater improvements. The majority of Water Department employees are represented by two Unions and one Association under local meet and confer and meet and discuss ordinances. 


The City of Phoenix Water Services Department has consistently provided a reliable supply of drinking water that meets or surpasses all standards for health and safety at a cost lower than most cities in the Southwest. More than 90 percent of the water delivered to its customers comes from surface water sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams. The remaining amount of water delivered to customers comes from groundwater (wells). The surface water is treated at one of six water treatment plants, and wastewater is treated at one of the three wastewater treatment plants. Most of the wastewater is reclaimed and is used for agricultural irrigation, industry, or to water large turf areas such as golf courses.


As Phoenix Water Services enters its second 100 years, enhancements will focus on customer services, ensuring the future water supply, technology, the environment, maintaining aging water and wastewater lines and treatment plants, increased regulatory compliance and security. This high-level executive will provide strategic direction and vision for planning and development for the fifth largest city in the United States.  Work is performed with considerable independence and judgment under the general direction of a Deputy City Manager.



  • Proven experience at a director or assistant director level for a comparable sized City or County Public Works/Water Department or public utility providing water service.
  • An understanding of current water resource issues and the complexities currently impacting the City of Phoenix including the need to ensure a viable future water supply.
  • Strong fiscal and budgetary skills and experience managing a comparable sized budget.
  • A philosophical support for a labor-management partnership and a will to collaborate with the unions and association representing much of the Department’s workforce. 
  • Experience building infrastructure to support a growing community’s water needs and experience managing large, multi-jurisdictional projects.
  • A working knowledge of western water law, the Law of the Colorado River, the Clean Water Act, Federal Reclamation Law, and the Arizona Groundwater Management Act.
  • A significant number of years of progressively responsible experience in the development of municipal water policy and the development and implementation of policies and programs designed to enhance the position of municipalities in water policy development.
  • Willingness to think outside of the Water Services Department to assist staff in partnering with other Departments in the City.
  • A strategic and forward-thinking vision to inspire the Department staff to work together in order to create a more efficient and effective working environment.
  • Creativity as a problem-solver who is able to identify key issues in complex situations, evaluate options, and initiate strategies for resolution and will move the organization forward.
  • Strategic planning and innovation talents, always making customer service a priority.



Up to $218,213 annually.  Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. The City contributes 8.5% of salary into 457/401(a) plans with no matching required.  $5,220/annual car allowance and $1,440/annual cell phone allowance.


A comprehensive Executive benefits package is offered which includes:

Traditional pension with employer and employee contributions; choice of medical HMO, PPO, HSA/HDHP plan; wellness incentive of up to $720 annually; dental; vision; life insurance; long-term disability; medical enrollment includes a monthly $150 City contribution to a Post-Employment Health Plan; bus/light rail pass; tuition reimbursement; paid time off includes 11.5 paid holidays, 12 vacation days, 15 sick days.  For more details, visit: Executive Benefits.


  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in a medium to large public service organization and/or utility system, at a division head or department head level with direct supervision over professional and technical staff as well as successful experience in a labor-represented environment.
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Political Science, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Business Administration, or a related field is required. A Master’s degree or better is preferred.
  • The successful candidate will be capable of managing highly complex issues in the context of an overall management team open to change and innovation.
  • In general, City of Phoenix residency is required within 24 months after the date of hire for newly hired executives, however exceptions may apply for current employees. For more details, visit: https://www.phoenix.gov/hr/who-apply/residency. 
  • All finalists for positions are subject to a background check applicable to the department or position.


PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS – The minimum qualifications listed above, plus:

  • Experience working in municipal government in a Council/Manager context.


First review of applications will occur the week of November 2, 2020. Recruitment closes Friday November 13, 2020. All materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. on this date.



Apply online at https://www.phoenix.gov/hr/current-jobs/ by completing the required information and attaching, as one document, your cover letter and resume. Please include your experience as it relates to the qualifications stated above. Only the highest qualified applicants will be considered. The results of the resume screening process will be sent to your primary email address.


  • Click this link to review the recruitment brochure: https://www.phoenix.gov/hrsite/Documents/Talent-Acquisition/WSD%20Director%20Brochure_Final_R1.pdf
  • Assistance for relocation costs and exploratory home search trips may be authorized for the successful candidate, however per IRS rules, relocation costs are considered to be income. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p521--2018.pdf 
  • Works more than forty hours in a workweek without additional compensation to perform assigned job duties, including weekends, evenings, early morning hours, and holidays as required.
  • For other important information related to employment with the City of Phoenix, please click here.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please contact our HR Center at (602) 495-5700. 


Water Services Director (NC), JC: 51390, ID 37390


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