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North Unit Irrigation District - General Manager

Posted: 1/15/2021
Salary: Negotiable
Location: Madras, OR

North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) has served the agricultural water needs of Jefferson County Oregon and the community since 1945. The district was formed (1916) with the sole purpose of delivering agricultural water and today remains the largest irrigation district in Central Oregon. NUID maintains approximately 300 miles of lined, piped, and open ditch delivery systems to service 900 active accounts over 58,880 acres. In addition, NUID operates and maintains 2 reservoirs totaling 205,600 acre-feet and 1 pumping facility with a pumping capacity of 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). NUID’s main source of supply is the Deschutes River system with the pumping facility being located on the Crooked River. NUID is an independent Special District governed by a five-member board of directors elected by district voters. The district operates for the sole benefit of the lands and people within the district boundaries. NUID is well respected within the community and is viewed as an important contributor to the success and livelihood of the region being the sole source of water to the agricultural community.

The District
Leading a dedicated team of 28 employees, the General Manager will have an opportunity to be a part of an established, resourceful, and service-oriented irrigation district located in a scenic rural setting that offers an affordable lifestyle. Because the district enjoys the benefits of a dedicated and well-trained staff with little turnover, respecting and utilizing this tremendous resource is a primary objective of the board and expectation of the General Manager. NUID is the most junior water right holder in the Deschutes Basin. As a junior water right holder in the basin, the district and its farmers aggressively pursue innovative conservation practices to make the most efficient use of its supplies.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Protecting, enhancing, and providing water to district customers in the most efficient, cost effective manner by maintaining and securing a sustainable water supply, expanding water conservation, and improving water management.
  • Proactive stewardship of natural resources. Fulfilling existing regional agreements and proactively identify and address future environmental regulation and challenges.
  • Improve financial stability by establishing rates based on cost-of-service principles and by seeking outside funding opportunities.
  • Maintain an accountable, stable workforce, treating employees with respect and integrity while providing a safe work environment.
  • Provide superior customer care and service in a responsive, professional manner. Maintain public trust and support through transparency and responsiveness.
  • Build and cultivate partnerships through open communication and collaboration.
  • Implementation of the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (DBHCP). The DBHCP is the culmination of 12 years of work by Central Oregon irrigation districts, federal agencies, and local stakeholders. The plan and permits were finalized in December 2020.

Key Responsibilities
The General Manager is responsible for the operation, function, and administrative affairs of the district. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Manages and controls all matters pertaining to the irrigation district, recommend and administer policies and procedures.
  • Work confidently and collaboratively with the Board of Directors, making strong and educated recommendations and carrying out the Board’s direction.
  • Develop short and long-range plans, goals, objectives, policies, and priorities to meet the district’s needs.
  • Develop interpersonal relationships with all levels of staff within the district, as well as the District’s customers and the community at large.
  • Establish, within district policy, appropriate service, and staffing levels; monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures.
  • Plan, direct and coordinate, through subordinate level managers, the district’s work plan; assign projects and areas of responsibility; review and evaluate work methods and procedures; meet with management staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Manage the district’s labor and employee/employer relations, policies, and procedures, and keep the Board informed on related issues. Maintain positive working relationships and partnerships with unionized employees and their representatives. Negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements.
  • Assess and monitor workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships; identify opportunities for improvements; direct and implement changes.
  • Select, train, motivate and evaluate district personnel; provide or coordinate staff training; work with employees to correct deficiencies; implement discipline and termination procedures.
  • Oversee and participate in the development and administration of the district budget; approve the forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; approve expenditures and implement budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary.
  • Explain, justify, and defend district programs, policies, and activities; negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues.
  • Effectively represent and direct communications with local, state, and federal agencies, consultants, political bodies, community organizations, committees, and the public.
  • Provide staff assistance to the Board of Directors; participate on a variety of boards, committees that will further district objectives; prepare and present staff reports and other necessary correspondence.
  • Attend and participate in professional group meetings; stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of water distribution management.
  • Respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints.
  • Perform related duties and responsibilities as required.

Important Application Information
To apply for this opportunity, please submit a letter of interest and resume to:

North Unit Irrigation District
2024 NW Beech Street
Madras, Oregon 97741

A letter of interest and resume may also be submitted via email to

More information including a full job description can be found at

North Unit GM Recruitment Info.pdfNorth Unit Irrigation GM Vacancy Announcement External.pdfNorth Unit Irrigation GM Job Description.pdf

Application Deadline: February 19, 2021 at 5:00pm