It is an exciting time to be at the Great Lakes Water Authority! GLWA employs hundreds of technical and administrative professionals, all working to provide drinking water and wastewater services of unquestionable quality to nearly four million people in more than 100 communities in southeast Michigan.
GLWA is looking for a broad-thinking, collaborative and technically sound Systems Planning and Development Director to meet the challenges of the future. This is a new position at GLWA. We are looking for a candidate that is well experienced in water and wastewater utility planning, who is collaborative and is forward-thinking. The candidate will be responsible for many planning and analytical initiatives. These include, but are not limited to, the following: in-house master planning; facilities planning; systems modeling; evaluation of expansion and development opportunities; evaluation of systems improvements and optimization opportunities; performance of water audits; and the like.
This candidate must be able to expertly work in a collaborative environment with internal GLWA team members, member partners, and regional stakeholders, such as road agencies. These efforts require extensive knowledge of water sector utilities, both the drinking water and wastewater services. The ideal candidate will have experience in the technical aspects of water/wastewater treatment, water transmission, wastewater collection, and a working knowledge of regulatory compliance. The candidate must be skilled in leading groups and teams of analysts, modelers, engineers, and various professionals. The candidate must have excellent written and verbal communication skills being able to expertly author and direct the writing of reports, studies, and technical memoranda as well as have a keen ability to verbally and visually present to stakeholders.
GLWA sees the future of the water sector as being heavily focused on the meaningful use of data for decision-making. In addition to master planning and facility planning, this individual will be expected to evaluate and make recommendations regarding data collection, make meaningful use of real-time data to support operations, use both planning and operational models, such as digital twins, to support operations, advance GLWA’s use of machine learning for operational optimization, and perform regular water demand forecasting and wet weather flow analytics.
The Systems Planning and Development Director will direct the managers of GLWA’s System Analytics & Meter Operations Group, Systems Planning Group and will start up a new GLWA Modeling Team. The newly created Modeling Team will support both planning and operations and will become GLWAs central repository and leaders of a variety of modeling efforts including those that are needed in master planning, operational modeling, and non-revenue water evaluations.
Responsibilities (not all-inclusive):
Works under the direction of the Chief Planning Officer. Works directly and collaboratively to meet the needs of operations and engineering with Chief Operating Officers, Directors of Water and Wastewater Engineering and Directors of Water and Wastewater Operations, Director of Capital Planning, and the Director of Research and Innovation.
Works with GLWA’s GIS Team and Systems Control Center to extract data needed for modeling.
Works with the Chief Planning Officer to set the direction for the master planning efforts, engagement of others, and leadership structure.
Advances GLWA’s plans to continue to improve system redundancy, resiliency, and reliability considering climate change, weather patterns, emerging contaminants of concern, great lakes water levels, source water threats, and the like.
Collaborates with Directors to ensure the master plans meet the needs of operations and engineering and are in alignment with GLWA’s goals and priorities.
Collaborates with member partners as users of the system to understand their needs and vision for the future.
Resolves cross-functional issues and strategic issues affecting planning efforts.
Manages change promotes continuous improvement and encourages the implementation of cutting-edge and innovative approaches.
Enables communication between leadership and team members and relays planning information across GLWA Areas, Groups, and Teams.
Reports progress and results to leadership and the Board of Directors.
Leads a transition from using external resources for master planning to the standup and regular use of an expert internal team for planning.
Engages in the annual update of the Capital Improvement Plan to ensure that master planning recommendations are included as appropriate.
Actively collaborates with regional partners to optimize public investment in infrastructure by partnering on large-scale projects where appropriate.
Actively seeks new customer opportunities and opportunities to support healthy communities when water or wastewater systems have compliance concerns.
Supervises team members including prioritizing and assigning work, conducting performance evaluations, appropriating training, mentorship, and making hiring and performance management recommendations.
Represents GLWA in professional organizations and communicates our approach to planning and shares knowledge to support and assist other water sector utilities.
Facility Planning, Operational Support, and System Auditing
Develops robust written facility plans that detail how individual facilities work hydraulically within the GLWA systems such that they can be used to improve the quality of capital improvement project design and operational performance.
Supports operations and engineering by performing scenario modeling for emergency and project needs.
Leads or directs the leadership of pre-event planning and post-event analytics for operational use and expansion of GLWA’s Regional Operating Plan.
Provides technical support to GLWA’s contract alignment team as member partner water demands are being projected.
Leads or directs the performance of in-house annual water audits of the water system which include development of next steps related to the identification and reduction of non-revenue water.
Promotes and supports the collaboration of decision-making among business units and encourages buy-in from all stakeholders.
Supervises team members Group members, including prioritizing and assigning work, conducting performance evaluations, appropriating training and mentorship, and making hiring, and performance management recommendations.
Member Outreach and Regional Collaboration
Provides strategic direction to GLWA’s well-developed Member Outreach program.
Actively seeks additional opportunities to utilize GLWA’s foundation of collaboration to advance regional efforts.
Advances GLWA’s hub utility concept by providing leadership and being a technical resource to regional stakeholders.
Represents GLWA in various workshops, webinars, professional organizations, and conferences.
Actively participates in GLWA’s technical Member Outreach workgroups including presenting in GLWA’s Analytical Work Group and Wastewater Analytics Task Force
Leads a team of professionals who are collaborative, helpful, and technically competent.
Demonstrates leadership through active engagement in a cross-functional team on a variety of initiatives.
Represents the planning and analytical facets of GLWA’s work in internal GLWA cross-functional teams.
Works collaboratively in teams to consult on a variety of administrative GLWA efforts such as goal setting, development of key performance indicators, discussion of policies and procedures, and other important related activities.
Leads by example in being invested in the success of all facets of GLWA whether that is being an exceptional leader or an exceptional follower and teammate.
Provides expert and informed insight to the Executive Leadership Team on a variety of matters.
As a leader in GLWA, willingness and ability to stay engaged in the operations of the Authority to ensure operational continuity. Responds to emergencies as needed.
Develops concepts to advance GLWA’s mission and vision.
Required Education and Experience:
Bachelor’s degree in engineering, chemistry, business administration, public administration, or related discipline.
A minimum of five (5) years of recent and progressive managerial and administrative experience, including staffing, budgeting, project management, and operational experience in a specialty designation, preferably in connection with large-scale public or private operations.
Preferred Skills and Experience:
At least 10 years in a progressively responsible supervisory role in water or wastewater modeling.
Comfortable with various water and wastewater modeling software packages and ESRI products.
Significant experience in the water and/or wastewater utility sector.
Strong leadership, management, public speaking, and communication skills.
A clear vision of master planning strategy and very strong technical and communication skills.
Ability to integrate information from multiple sources to form a comprehensive perspective.
Proven ability to achieve high performance in a complex fast-moving environment.
Values lifelong learning and the ability to maintain an open mind when presented with new ideas and experiences.
Ability to effectively prioritize workloads and multitask to meet deadlines and milestones.
A valid Michigan Driver’s License and the ability to drive a motor vehicle on all terrain.
Ability to work irregular hours, to commute to GLWA facilities and work sites.
Follow security and safety policies and procedures in carrying out work duties.
About Great Lakes Water Authority
We Are One Water
The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) provides nearly 40 percent of Michigan’s population with water of unquestionable quality, as well as effective and efficient wastewater services to nearly 30 percent of the state.
GLWA is all about the movement of water from the environment, to our customers, and back to the environment. We ensure our member partner communities get the highest quality water using treatment standards that are stricter than state or federal regulatory requirements.
And once the water has been used, we run it through our treatment process again before returning it to the environment – often cleaner than when we received it.
Working hand-in-hand with our member partners, we provide water and wastewater services of the highest quality. Together, we are one water.
On June 12, 2015, history was made as the Great Lakes Water Authority and the City of Detroit entered into 40-year leases providing for GLWA’s operation of the regional water and sewer system. On January 1, 2016, GLWA began regional operations. GLWA is an important example of regional collaboration in southeast Michigan, with the City of ...Detroit, the counties of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, and the State of Michigan officially uniting to ensure that both city and suburban water and sewer customers have a powerful voice in the management and direction of one of largest water and wastewater utilities in the United States.
With the stand-up of the new authority, GLWA assumed operational, infrastructure improvements, environmental compliance, and budget-setting responsibilities for the regional water and sewage treatment plants, major water transmission mains and sewage interceptors, and related facilities. These facilities are leased from the City of Detroit for an allocation of $50 million per year to fund capital improvements for the City of Detroit retail system and/or Detroit’s share of capital improvements to the regional system.
Currently, GLWA provides wholesale water and wastewater services to 126 municipalities in seven Southeastern Michigan counties, which is equivalent to approximately 3.9 million customers.
In keeping with the spirit of collaboration from which GLWA was created, the authority is governed by a Board of Directors that includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the City of Detroit, and one appointed by the Governor of the State of Michigan to represent customer communities outside the tri-county area.
We know how important it is to have good, affordable health and group benefits. That’s why we offer competitive benefits to full-time employees, providing protection, peace of mind, and savings. Whether it’s health care, income protection, retirement savings, or other benefits such as the Employee Assistance Plan, we’ve got you covered.
GLWA’s comprehensive benefits package offers our team members:
Flexible Spending Accounts
Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Defined Contribution Plan (401A)
Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
Retiree Health Savings Account
Paid Time Off
Excused Days Off
One Water Wellness Program
Employee Assistance Program
Team Member Savings Center