We are searching for a Water Quality Data Officer with a passion for data, enthusiasm for innovative IT solutions and drive to work in an organisation serving the public, to work in our small Data Team at the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) is one of three independent regulators of the water industry in England and Wales. The Chief Inspector of Drinking Water acts on behalf of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and exercises legal powers for the regulation of the quality of drinking water supplied by water companies in England and Wales. Additionally the Inspectorate receives data relating to public supplies from English and Welsh Local Authorities. The jobholder would be part of a small busy team that provides data support to approximately 45 technical staff.

Water Quality Data Officers report to the Data Manager and carry out the processing of data submitted by water supply companies in England and Wales and Local Authorities. Other tasks include database management, the production of maps and resolving general data issues.

The Water Quality Data Unit comprises four staff and is part of the DWI’s Science & Policy Group. Together with the Business Performance Unit, the Unit provides technical, business and data processing support to the Chief Inspector and approximately 30 Drinking Water Inspectors. The DWI’s office base is in London and the post holder will be expected to travel to London for essential meetings and training under normal circumstances. Home working and flexible working arrangements are possible subject to agreement, particularly whilst Covid-19 remains a significant risk.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Checking and processing of regular data returns submitted to the Inspectorate (both from water companies and local authorities).
  • Liaison with Inspectors and water company data staff to resolve any data issues.
  • Meeting Key Performance Indicator dates for the loading of data into the Inspectorate’s data systems.
  • Provision of maps and data reports for Drinking Water Inspectors, to assist with assessment of drinking water issues.
  • Involvement in testing new database developments.
  • Querying and exploiting data for the purposes of:-

Responding to ad-hoc drinking water related data enquiries, including Freedom of Information, Environmental Information and DEFRA requests.

  • Preparation of regular data summary reports and analysis as required by DWI Inspectors or feedback to water companies.
  • Preparation of tables, charts and maps for inclusion in the ‘The Chief Inspector’s Report’.
  • Assisting with the development of the Inspectorate’s database systems and liaison with Inspectors and IBM for the detailed specification of enhancements.

Skills required:

Applicants should have a proven track record of working with large databases, and display good numeric and accuracy skills. Attention to detail and an analytical approach are essential as well as an interest in maintaining data integrity and quality.

You must also be able to communicate technical information to all key stakeholders, including water company staff and colleagues.

Data Officers operate DWI’s bespoke data systems and extract data from various databases, consequently working knowledge of SQL and/or basic html coding would be an advantage as would a basic appreciation of data architecture and data modelling.

Applicants should also have experience working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) or working in an area which deals with spatial information or DEFRA’s SPIRE initiative.

Demonstrable Project Management Skills would be beneficial and experience of project delivery under pressure is essential. Experience of working in a regulatory environment and dealing directly with external stakeholders would be desirable.

You should have the ability to work flexibly and as part of a team, and will work closely with DWI inspectors on specific projects. You will have good IT skills, be familiar with MS Office software and be well organised.

Training in all aspects of DWI’s work will be provided and there will be opportunities to gain experience and to develop your specific areas of expertise.

For further information about the work of the DWI, please visit

Water Quality Data Officer – EO – Drinking Water Inspectorate

To apply for this post, please use the following link to access the Civil Service website: 

Link to Water Quality Data Officer

Please note we will not accept CVs and no agencies please.

Interviews will take place remotely and will consist of two parts. Candidates will be expected to complete a written assessment in addition to an interview by a panel. Candidates should allow approximately three hours to complete the process.

For any further information on the post, please contact the vacancy manager,

Adriana Blazekova, on 0300 068 6400 or at:

Closing date: 24 January 2021 at 23:55

As an Equal Opportunities employer Defra welcomes applications regardless of gender, race, disability, age, religion, or sexual orientation. We operate a family-friendly policy including flexible working patterns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Latest Posts

March 22, 2024

As we come together to celebrate World Water Day, let us reflect on the vital importance of water in sustaining…

Read more

March 8, 2024

Happy International Women’s Day from the Institute of Water! As a membership body committed to fostering inclusivity, we align with…

Read more

March 4, 2024

Have you ever wondered how to share your CPD story within the water sector? When someone asks about your CPD…

Read more

November 29, 2023

By Mia Tarrant, Process Scientist, Severn Trent It’s been another busy quarter for the Rising Stars, starting with a workshop…

Read more