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Hydrogeology and modelling consultant

Beirut (Lebanon)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-28

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device


FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality

People with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization


Organizational Setting

The Regional Office for Near East and North Africa (FAO-RNE) leads a key Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity. Established in the second half of 2013, the Water Scarcity Initiative (WSI) intends to support countries in coping with one of their most striking challenges: the pursuit of food and water securities, for a sustainable social and economic development, under an unprecedented severe escalation of water scarcity. The objectives of the WSI are: enhancing policies, investments, governance and best practices to sustainably increase water and land productivity; providing critical thinking and tools for strategic planning of optimal and sustainable allocation of scarce water resources; implementing a regional collaborative strategy for a water-reform agenda.

With the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the world countries, the WSI has focused its attention to the SDG 6.4 ('By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity') due to the relevant alignment of this SDG with the WSI goals. The WSI has thus developed a project aiming at 'Implementing the 2030 Agenda for water efficiency/productivity and water sustainability in NENA countries' (WEPS-NENA, GCP/RNE/009/SWE), financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The intended outputs of the WEPS-NENA (GCP/RNE/009/SWE) are as follows:

Output 1: Establish a robust water accounting system providing the evidence base for the full water budgeting (supply, demand, uses and re-cycling, present and projected) and for monitoring progress in the achievement of the targets while assessing the institutional effectiveness to govern water resources; In Lebanon, the first round of water accounting called Rapid Water Accounting (RWA) for the Nahr El Kalb Basin was already conducted by national stakeholders, and the project is at the initiation stage of the 2nd round of water accounting.

Output 2: Implement a series of interventions to increase water efficiency and productivity in selected farming systems of the countries to advance in achieving the SDG 6.4; interventions will include: introduction/enhancement of good practices and affordable technologies; improvement of decentralized water governance; development of under-exploited value chain rural agro-industry; leveraging on the multiplier effect to increase productivity when accounting for gender dimensions in the adoption of on-farm practices and technologies, in decentralized governance and along the value chain; elaboration of incentive frameworks, adapted to each local conditions, to promote the uptake of good practise and technologies at farm level and to stimulate entrepreneurial initiatives along the value chain (thus generating higher income and higher job opportunity);

Output 3: Ensure that higher efficiency/productivity achievements for the 2030 time horizon are attained within ‘safe operational boundaries of water use’ defining the conditions for ‘water sustainability’ and, therefore, for a sustainable, socially equitable and human-rights based development.

Reporting Lines

The Hydrogeology and modelling consultant shall report to Dr. Maurice Saade, FAO Representative in Lebanon and to Ms. Domitille Vallee, CTA, FAO RNE. He/she shall be supervised and supported technically by the WEPS-NENA project Management Team in FAO RNE.

Technical Focus

Focus on: (1) Leading, monitoring, following-up and coordinating the water accounting (WA) team to conduct a problem and opportunity focused cycle of water accounting (WA) & planning next cycle(s) of WA, and 2) to provide technical information about groundwater fluxes using a hydrological model The expected outputs are as follows:

  • Implementation plan for next WA cycle that includes: main objectives, location and size of pilot/upscaled area(s), equipment needs, contracts, capacity building requirements; institutional roles and responsibilities, Gantt chart etc..;
  • WA report that documents the data and analytical methods used, the findings of the second cycle of water accounting, the recommendations and, if relevant an outline plan for a third cycle of water accounting in the Nahr El Kalb Basin;
  • A brief report summarizing the findings of the 2nd round of WA for decision makers;
  • A capacitated national WA team and, if relevant, team members based in other organisations at the national and governorate levels;
  • Relevant models and algorithms that have been calibrated and validated and outputs from the models and algorithms used in the report;
  • Model documentation and user guide;
  • Improved awareness amongst key stakeholders.

Tasks and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the project Chief Technical Advisor, the national Hydrogeology and modelling expert will work in close collaboration with the Lebanese water accounting team, FAO water accounting experts, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the other relevant international and national stakeholders and lead the 2nd round of water accounting. The work is estimated to take 150 days spread over 11 months. He/She shall perform the following tasks:

As a lead person for water accounting team:

  • Meet with water accounting experts at FAO and IWMI to understand WA approach used in this project;
  • Build capacity of the water accounting multi-disciplinary team that comprises primarily of relevant staff from the Ministry of Energy (MoE), CNRS, Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and FAO interns/volunteers;
  • Facilitate discussion of to the WA team to identify the key questions to be answered by WA and selecting and delineating the study area;
  • Develop an implementation plan of the 2nd round of WA, building on the RWA;
  • Closely communicate with water auditing specialist to couple water accounting and auditing, and provide information needed for water auditing;
  • Identify available and needed data, monitoring, tools and analyses for groundwater components in WA;
  • Identify procurement needs for additional sensors and data collection equipment;
  • Guide the WA team to write WA Report and review it. Some of the key outputs in this report will include, but is not limited to
    • Water balance;
    • Supply vs demand;
    • Sustainability indicator;
    • Water quality information;
  • Present the progress and/or results of the WA in workshops;
  • With the WA team, producing a short WA report capturing the key findings for decision makers;
  • Raise awareness of the value added of adopting water accounting and auditing in Lebanon at senior levels in the government of Lebanon and, more generally, in the water section.

As a hydrogeology and modelling expert:

  • Conducti review of existing information on groundwater and modelling that is relevant to water accounting for the Nahr El Kalb Basin;
  • Guide field data collection if necessary to calibrate/validate the model;
  • Select a model to use, modify and run the model to obtain necessary information related to groundwater flux and storage for water accounting;
  • Calibrate and validate the model;
  • Develop a model documentation and a user guide.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced degree in: hydrology, hydrogeology, remote sensing, civil engineering or related field;
  • Minimum of 5 years of proven knowledge and experience in Lebanon’s hydrology, hydrogeology, climate, soils and water modelling etc..;
  • Working knowledge of English and Arabic. Knowledge of French would be an asset.

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Sound knowledge of Lebanon’s hydrology, hydrogeology, climate, soils etc.
  • Experience in hydrological, hydrological, and/or water allocation modelling. Experience in modelling of karstic aquifer is a plus;
  • Sound knowledge of Lebanon’s irrigation systems (hardware and software) and Lebanon’s approach to watershed management;
  • Experience of engaging actively with key stakeholders.

Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency


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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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