Water Stewardship Manager

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level/Senior (8-9 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Enviromental Programmes Unit 
(This is a one year contract position, with the possibility of extension to a three year term based in close proximity to Empangeni, Richards Bay and Mtunzini in KwaZuluNatal)
WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. WWF’s work is for nature, for you.
Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.


In 2016 the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) was formed in KwaZulu-Natal. The Partnership is coordinated by the National Business Initiative (NBI), WWF South Africa and GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS), with support from a range of public and private partners. The overall objective of the Partnership is to safeguard water security for agricultural, domestic and industrial use in the uMhlathuze River Catchment.
The partnership’s current focus areas include a number of projects being implemented by NBI, GIZ and WWF on the following:

  • Implementation of water conservation and water demand management across domestic, agricultural and industrial users.
  • Strengthening of private sector initiatives in support of water stewardship in the uMhlathuze region.
  • Restoration of key ecological infrastructure, including through wetland restoration and alien invasive vegetation clearing.
  • Development of an online water balance tool for the catchment, in order to assist authorities in making informed decisions.
  • Establishment of a single Water Users Association for the irrigated agricultural sector.
  • Rollout of a circular economy project focused on the use of waste fibre to mulch.
  • Implementation of an effective water hyacinth management programme.
  • Development of “Meat Naturally”, a community based grazing project focused on sustainable landscape management.
  • Effective management of water releases from the Goedertrouw Dam, including an appropriate mentorship and training programme.

The goal of the programme is to safeguard water security for agricultural, domestic and industrial use in the uMhlathuze River Catchment. The incumbent will be expected to build on a previous 3 year programme of work implemented by WWF and its partners.

Job Overview

The position will be to work with UWASP partner organisations to mainstream water stewardship within the agricultural and plantation forestry sectors and linked value chains of the uMhlathuze catchment. This needs to be done by designing, leading and implementing a programme of work to catalyse collective action improving water stewardship practices in partnership with key farmers, agri-forestry business, and government. The focus of the work will largely be the middle and upper sections of the uMhlathuze catchment where the agricultural and forestry land use is located.


  • Continue to build UWASP, as a multi-stakeholder water stewardship community of practice   strengthening water governance at a landscape scale.
  • Develop a single Water Users Association by combining 5 irrigation boards to strengthen irrigation governance through catchment based management, and pilot national policy change on billing.
  • Understand irrigators’ water use and improve water use accountability by securing funds and installing reliable and accurate meters and telemetry.
  • Secure funding and develop a catchment based water balance dashboard tool to assist authorities in making informed decisions on water release and abstraction on a catchment scale.
  • Improve irrigation efficiency in citrus and macadamia orchards, by implementing trials and piloting the use of waste effluent fibre for mulching.
  • Coordinate implementation of the multi-stakeholder Alien Invasive Plants (AIP) Strategy developed, to tackle AIP reduction collectively.


  • A Master’s degree in water resource management/catchment management/environmental science/agriculture/environmental learning and social change.
  • 8-10 years of relevant experience of working with the agriculture and forestry sectors and government, on water stewardship issues and water resource management related policies and legislation.
  • Experience of convening a community or practice, with a deep understanding of how adults learn informally and the relationship to social change.
  • Experience in strategy development as well as knowledge of key issues in water stewardship, water resource management, and sustainability crucial for productive engagements in the business, agriculture and forestry sectors.
  • Ability to build relationships and trust with key stakeholders, including convening role-players across sectors, organisations, and locations.
  • Ability to effectively convey vision, ideas, goals and issues as well as produce concise and effective reports and presentations.
  • Ability to understand and articulate the business case of projects.
  • Excellent administration and coordination of groups and individuals by promoting teamwork, delegating tasks, resolving conflict and setting goals.
  • Ability to engage at senior management level in business as well as at a farm level on the ground, as well as the ability to negotiate the use of resources, budgets, schedules, and scope creep.
  • Ability to organize tasks in the right order, and to hit the right outcome at the right time.    
  • Ability to work collaboratively and facilitate solutions focused engagements in multidisciplinary and diverse working environments.
  • Ability to stablish networks at senior management and strategic levels within the agriculture, forestry and water sectors. 
  • The candidate must be able to translate water stewardship approaches into water related strategies/action plans in the agriculture, forestry and business sectors.
  • Ability to initiate new working relations and self-manage areas of work critical to achievement of deliverables.
  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required for this role. Proficiency in isiZulu is an advantage.

Apply Now

To apply please click here  fill out the application form, and provide a detailed CV and covering letter (attach under “Documents”) fully motivating why you should be appointed, together with the names, current e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of three relevant references. Applications close on 31st January 2020.
Applications sent via email will not be considered.
WWF seeks to promote diversity among its staff. Candidates who have not received a response within three weeks of the closing date are kindly requested to assume that their application has not been successful in this instance. WWF-SA reserves the right not to fill this position.