UNHCR-Water Supply System Engineer-P3-Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Location: Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, Bangladesh
Date Posted: 26-04-2018
The massive influx of approximately 690, 000 refugees into what is now called the Mega camp, which is the merging of Kutupalong and Balukhali camps, has created a densely populated area where indiscriminate siting of wells and latrines, often directly adjacent to each other have created an enormous public health risk. The refugees live on the sides of steep hillocks over the entire site with small paddy fields or polluted streams between them. Currently people take water from the huge number of shallow handpumps that have been hand drilled using very basic methods by local contractors for DPHE, Brac, INGO’s and private donors. Currently most of the agencies are moving to only providing deep wells to lessen the chances of contamination but as there are mostly no “plugs” installed to prevent contamination of the lower aquifer it is highly likely these deeper wells are also contaminated.
There are and have been water testing projects to quantify just how many and which wells are contaminated but these are tiny in comparison to the number of wells in use. Therefore, the majority of contamination concerns comes largely from direct observation of the unsanitary conditions. It is extraordinary that there has not already been a major diarrhoea outbreak and the huge fear is 1) As more and more shallow wells become dry due to the declining water level people turn to dirty ponds and open wells for water and 2) When the rains come in April or a cyclone in February cyclone season this will vastly increase the contamination of all the water sources.
While, handpump chlorinators have been discussed there are only a few currently on site. Aquatab distribution is happening but only for a very small percentage of the population and House Hold Water Treatment options, apart from chlorine, are too expensive for some 138,000 families.  Therefore, the only really safe option is to have a reticulation system providing chlorinated water for the refugees. The challenge is to find enough production boreholes, with a capacity of around 20m3/hr to meet the demand. With an 8 hr/d pumping some 60 boreholes would be required @ 15L/p/d. This may not be possible so not all of the mega camp be served from this initiative. It is probable that the most practical option is to have a number of mini reticulation systems based on the position and yield of each production borehole. Hydrogeologists are fairly confident that by drilling to around 250m almost anywhere in the sandstone aquifer especially in the north part of the mega camp will yield 15 – 20 m3/hr.
UNHCR has a partnership agreement with OXFAM that is deploying a civil engineer to coordinate the water supply response in Kutapalong. The Water Supply System Engineer with work in coordination with the OXFAM engineer and UNHCR WASH staff to lead the design of water supply system(s) or one or more camps.  The OXFAM engineer will be responsible for coordinating the overall water supply programme for the KTP mega-site, whereas the Water Supply Engineer will be responsible for the technical design of the individual system or systems that they are assigned.

The Water Supply System Engineer will be responsible for the following tasks:
  • To access the refugee water demand for a 20 year period
  • Identify, collate and review existing topographical maps, and digital elevation models and support if needed additional topographical field surveys,
  • Support those individuals leading in the collection of primary data required to do the technical design (e.g. topographical study, pump tests, etc),
  • Train DPHE local authorities on the GISdata base use
  • To plan a number of mini reticulation systems based on probable sites for production boreholes considering various factors (e.g. road access, drainage, groundwater conditions, yield, etc.).
  • Access how much storage would be necessary and where tanks could be situated safely
  • Produce a design with an off-grid solution using solar energy for power and which includes in-line chlorinators
  • To produce designs in the format most accessible to the majority of agencies that would be implementing the mini reticulation system plus an indication of costs for the systems.
  • To participate on a need basis to water related coordination meetings,
Expected Outputs
The Water Supply System Engineer will support the develop pipeline network system layouts for particular camps and undertaking network modelling to optimise the systems. This will include the following:
  • A water supply GIS data base is created and will include design and properties information of water pipes, supporting components, and other urban facilities in general. It is an information system consisting of hardware, software, and application allowing input, output, and analysis of digital data,
  • Map of the proposed main water supply and water distribution network layout (1:2,500, A1 format and 1:5,000, A3 format) GIS and in PDF format
  • Technical drawings of hydraulic sub-components of the system, including technical specifications, BOQ, cost estimations and plumbing schematic (in AutoCAD).  This should include drawings for all major components including: electromechanical equipment, water storage, water treatment, distribution networks, tab stands, laundry basins, etc.
  • Financial analysis of the costs of water services including the capital investment costs, operation and maintenance costs, capital replacement costs, and support costs.  This financial analysis should explicitly list what the expenditures will be in units of $/refugee served and $/cubic meter of water delivered.  Priority should be given to systems which have the lowest life-cycle costs.
  • Designed parameters (in Word, Excel, EPANET, including calculations):
    • daily water demand calculations based on:
      • a minimum of 20 l/p/d
      • any institutional need for schools, health centres, feeding centre etc
      • a percentage increase (between 10% and 30%) for leakage and wastage
      • a daily peak factor (between 1.2 and 2) and
      • any other potential use other than domestic (for animals, bricks making etc) - upon request
    • daily water availability calculations
    • water distribution network peak flow calculations
    • main supply & water distribution optimal pipeline sizing calculations
    • pumps selection if required
    • water treatment calculation
    • water storage calculation
    • location of washouts, air valves, network isolation valves, manholes  
  • All designs should be linked to national standards and UNHCR standards where appropriate.  All designs should include a review/comparison of these standards and clearly state what standards were used in the final design with justifications as necessary
  • EPANET or other water supply scheme software (i.e. WaterCAD/WaterGEMS) raw data, parameters and modelling results
  • Description of construction materials and workmanship specifications (in Word)
All relevant design materials will be handed over to UNHCR both on hard and soft copy, including:
  • Soft copies of all data sets both quantitative and qualitative
  • Clear explanation of the assumptions used for the calculations including relevant sources of information (materials strength, pricing, etc).
  • The interpretation model and the graphical plot of the EPANET (or any other used software) piping scheme
  • Calculations, specifications & drawings used during the course of the project execution
The technical drawings will be provided in AutoCAD (georeferenced file) or GIS and pdf format.  All outputs should be developed in accordance to the principles as per the UNHCR WASH Manual available at wash.unhcr.org.


University degree in Water / Civil /Mechanical Engineering. Advance training in water, sanitation or public health engineering will be preferable.
  • At least 8 years of progressively responsible functions in water / civil / mechanical engineering
  • Proven experience in the design of water supply systems for towns or cities.
  • Proven ability to deal with multiple tasks in a courteous and service-oriented manner in demanding working conditions that often have short deadlines.
  • Proven technical expertise in the area of water supply area including survey, programme implementation, technical design, monitoring and coordination.
  • Exposure to UNHCR mandate, its priorities and principles.
  • Good understanding of integrated water resource management, water supply strategies and design.
  • Applied knowledge in UNHCR programme management, project formulation, programme cycles and reporting standards.
  • Previous exposure to UN sector approach, preferably both at the global policy level and at field implementation approach.
  • Expertise in planning, formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting on humanitarian operations.
  • Ability towards analytical and creative thinking for rapid solutions
  • High ethical and professional standards
  • Team player with service oriented attitudes.
  • Proficiency in computer software such as water modelling software, GIS, AutoCad, EPANet, etc.
  • Excellent knowledge of English (written / oral / comprehension) is essential.
  • Working knowledge of another UN language.
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