Revised Date 06-20-2024
Location: Grand Junction, and generally Grand Junction-Redlands Area

General Information
Status: FT, PT, or PRN FT – Full Time
Approximate hours per week: 40/Hours – Some overtime and weekends may be required.
Position Reports to: Superintendent/Manager and/or Operations Manager and Lead Ditch Rider
Exempt / Non-Exempt: Non-exempt
Equal Pay Act Status: This salary range is based singularly or in combination of the following categories:
Seniority – Merit – Quantity/Quality – Geographic – Education

Position Purpose ( Summary)
The Ditch Rider is responsible for the efficient and professional control of the irrigation system to convey and manage water to shareholders in the assigned areas, according to rights and By Laws of Corporation or as instructed by the supervisor(s), and daily operations and maintenance for the Company. A Ditch Rider is a “hands-on” professional who participates in the day-to-day operations of their assigned projects and responsibilities for the water delivery systems and record keeping duties that may be modified by management as needed and to regularly operate various light to heavy equipment for construction and maintenance in a water utility environment. This position is critical to the safe, responsible, and productive operations of equipment.

Essential Job Functions

  • Accurately measure amount of water delivered and adjust headgates and flows accordingly.
  • Take 811 Utility Locate phone calls and performs the locate duties of marking locations, online logs, and document reporting, and reports any discrepancies or issues to the Manager or Operations Manager in a timely manner.
  • Drive and/or walk to and evaluate the canals, pumps, or pipes to check each headgate or diversion for proper flow, detect leaks, breaks, weak areas, or obstructions and/or damage to the irrigation system.
  • Check for leaks, cracks, spills or any problem signs of canals or water delivery system instability of failure.
  • Monitor canal right-of-way for trespass and unauthorized use. Inform the Superintendent and/or Operations Manager if associated problems arise that cannot be resolved independently without confrontation.
  • Post signs and/or put up cables and gates that close the right-of-way in the off season or as needed.
  • Maintain all ditch equipment, supplies, tools, accessories, and their storage.
  • Answer daily calls and emergency calls utilizing a personal cell phone regarding ditch water concerns daily and notify supervisor and users of any changes in water being delivered.
  • Brings ditches, canals, pumps online and monitors and maintains the water delivery system as appropriate.
  • Repair headgates, measurement devices, flushing and clearing pumps, repair pipes, and culverts as needed or as supervised.
  • Maintain and repair ditch roads, property, structures, and accesses.
  • Weld or assist in fabrication of equipment, headgates, etc. as necessary.
  • Safely and efficiently operate all job-related equipment and tools within the company and scope of work.
  • Maintain a hard copy record or log of all irrigation water delivered by shares to shareholders.
  • Ensure prompt and adequate water share delivery of irrigation water to Shareholders.
  • Maintain the integrity of the canal, siphon, pipe, or lateral when either leaking or plugged using shovel, trash hook, or other necessary equipment and/or resources.
  • Accurately enter data into the Company’s GIS software program using phone application during shift.
  • Load and unload materials onto/from trucks, trailers, and other vehicles using several types of machinery.
  • Operate excavators, skid steers, and other heavy equipment to move earth, clear debris, and level land, dig trenches, holes, and backfill holes, excavations and compact soil using heavy equipment.
  • Report any known maintenance problems on the canals, laterals, diversions or drains to the supervisor in an efficient and timely manner.
  • May be required to enter the canal or structure at times to repair problems, resolve issues or assist in repairs while water is present wearing waders or boots and personal protective safety equipment and gear.
  • Work with company employees and/or irrigators (shareholders) on ditch water delivery and/or changes.
  • Report to the relief (following) shift of the current irrigation delivery status or issues.
  • Provide rotating and on-call coverage to troubleshoot and resolve concerns and issues for the entire water system including, but not limited to the canal, pumphouses, structures on premises owned by the company.
  • Maintain and thoroughly clean company vehicle, shops, storage facilities or yards.
  • Patrol assigned area by foot or motor vehicle to detect leaks, breaks, weak areas, or obstructions and/or damage to irrigation system.
  • Remove debris and make emergency repairs to banks, structures, gates, and canal roads.
  • Fill holes and exterminate rodents throughout the entire water system including canals, pumphouses, or other company facilities.
  • Prepare reports on condition of system equipment, and replacements or repairs needed clearly and effectively.
  • Clean out ditches and canals, raise ditch banks, repair concrete and wooden structures, erect fences, gates, and other maintenance work during or after irrigation season has passed and as necessary.
  •  Patrol canal at night to define that ditch water is flowing in prescribed volume into company canals or ditches, as necessary.
  • Measure and estimate diversions of water from canals to water users and calculate and record quantities (electronically and written) delivered.
  • Assist in performing assigned tasks within the company’s district during the Irrigation and Maintenance Seasons.
  • Understand and perform basic labor tasks and abide by all department and company policies and procedures.
  • Comply with and practice the company’s Safety Program requirements and attend all safety meetings.
  • Contribute to team efforts by accomplishing related tasks as assigned while promoting team and individual efforts.
  • Performs other job-related tasks and duties as may be assigned with a clear understanding of each task.
  • Trims, cuts, and removes trees and shrubs using proper hand or power tools and equipment safely.

Required Screen Clearance
1. Drug Screening; Required Pre-employment and Random.
2. Background Screening; Required Pre-employment and Random.
3. Motor Vehicle Report clearance per company insurance guidelines and policies.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics

  • Proficiently and safely perform basic carpentry, painting, and concrete practices including the use of hand and power tools.
  • Proficiently and safely perform basic machinery operations such as mowers, motor vehicles including towing and backing trailers, operate motorized light or heavy earth moving or hydraulic controlled equipment.
  • Proficiently and safely perform basic construction activities for roadways, piping, water canals or ditches for new civil work or repairs using current industry practices.
  • Proficiently perform minor basic computer processes such as using email and Microsoft Office products.
  • Work autonomously with minimal supervision in a proficient manner applying safety practices and requirements.
  • Work with attention to details in a safe manner following guidelines and procedures.
  • Use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Identify complex problems and review related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Use initiative and independent judgement while recognizing when to refer matters to the attention of Management.
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Knowledge and use in basic business office practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge and use of arithmetic, basic geometry, formulas, measurements, and to add, subtract, multiple and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.
  • Knowledge and use in basic mechanical diagnostic processes.
  • Knowledge and use of basic water flow or irrigation experience.
  • Knowledge and use of the geographic makeup of the irrigation district, roadways, boundaries, and municipalities.
  • Ability to communicate efficiently and professionally with the community, shareholders, coworkers, management, and customers.
  • Must be willing to work nights and weekends when necessary.
  • Experience and use with operating heavy equipment including excavators, backhoes, skid loaders, weed trimmers, mowers, and the loading/unloading on trailers and transporting.
  • Experience and use with GIS mapping and data entry using computer or phone applications.

Education Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent as minimum.
  • Basic mechanical maintenance and/or heavy/light earth moving equipment training classes or certifications.
  • Prior experience with irrigation canals, large water pumps or water treatment plants is a plus.


  • A valid Colorado driver’s license, minimum of Class ‘R’ and approved driving record required.
  • A valid Colorado driver’s license Class ‘A’ license is a plus and preferred.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • This position could supervise temporary and/or contingency staff on a minimal basis. May also assist with training of new employees.

Safety Responsibilities

Redlands Water and Power Company is a drug and alcohol-free workplace and does not allow drugs or alcohol while working or on the company’s property during company time. An understanding of common sense and following all safety procedures and policies at all times. Reporting safety violations or hazards to supervisor or Manager at all times.

Physical Aspects of the Job

The employee must be able to move about the work environment, be required to drive throughout the canal system, and must have the ability to frequently move or re-position up to 100 pounds of materials or objects. The employee must be able to perform essential duties outdoors with variable temperature conditions and climates and must be able to work in differing lighting and at night on work surfaces that can be uneven and in weather conditions typical to the regional environment where wet slippery surfaces may be encountered.

Physical Demands of the Job

Never 0%
Rarely <10%
Occasionally 11% – 33%
Frequently 34% – 66%
Continuously >67%