KSCSTE - Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM)

The Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) was established by recognizing the need for catering to the R&D needs in the field of water management.

Website : http://www.cwrdm.org



Kunnamagalam P O, Kozhikode 673 571Kerala

Phone:0495 2351800, 2357827, Fax:0495 2351808, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website : www.cwrdm.org



CWRDM is a premier R & D institution in the water sector established by the Government of Kerala. Recognising the need for catering to the R & D needs in the field of water management, the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) was established as an autonomous research organisation by the Government of Kerala, under its Science and Technology Policy in February 1978. The Centre was amalgamated with the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) in its Silver Jubilee Year-2003.CWRDM has substantially contributed to the scientific hydrologic studies and water management in the region. Starting with the establishment of data management system for the region, CWRDM has tackled different problems pertaining to watershed development, wetland management, water management for agriculture, forest and urban hydrology, estuarine management, groundwater development, water quality management, water related environmental issues, irrigation and drainage issues, etc. About 180 projects have been completed and more than 1500 scientific papers and 1300 research reports have been brought out. The institution regularly conducts several training courses to address the needs of Government Departments, NGOs, Local Bodies, etc.


The main campus of CWRDM with 29.13 hectares of land area, where the scientific and administration divisions, laboratories and library are located, is at Kottamparamba, situated about 13 km. East of Kozhikode city. Kozhikode is well connected to the rest of the country by rail, road and air. There are 4 regional sub-centres of CWRDM functioning at Kannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram.


CWRDM shall be Centre of Excellence catering to the R&D demands in all spheres of water management.


Our mission is to enhance the quality of life by ensuring water security for all by providing necessary Research and Development inputs, with special emphasis on the humid tropics.

Functional Research Areas of CWRDM

The Centre has distinctive strengths for carrying out research to address various challenges in water sector. Scientific manpower comprising of 30 scientists, specialized in multifarious specializations like water resources engineering, hydrology, hydrogeology, environmental engineering and sciences, agricultural engineering and sciences, biological sciences, chemical sciences, social sciences, etc., facilitate in taking up inter-disciplinary research studies.

The priority areas of research at CWRDM are:

o    Surface water potential estimation

o    Ground water potential estimation

o    Drainage basin/Watershed studies

o    Ground water development

o    Crop water requirement

o    Irrigation and drainage

o    Water and environment

o     Research and Transfer of Technology

o    Wetland studies

o    Isotope hydrology

o    Water quality studies

o    Water supply and sanitation

o    Water treatment/recycling

o    Sedimentation studies

o    Forest hydrology

o    Urban hydrology

o    Integrated river basin management

o    Environmental impact assessment

o    Systems studies and Mathematical modeling

o    Remote sensing application

o    Water-related Natural Disaster Management studies

o    Development of Water resource information networks

o    Digital Water Resources Atlas

o    Data Management systems

o    Systematic and operational hydrology

o    Estuarine and Coastal dynamics


Major Achievements of the Institution

All research projects at CWRDM are undertaken with the objective of conservation and protection of environment in general and water resources of Kerala in particular. The hydrologic data and research results generated by CWRDM are of immense use to the researchers and policy makers in water sector.  The government seeks the advice of the Centre on several inter-State water issues, especially pertaining to Cauvery, Pamba, Achenkoil, etc.  A national Facility for Research in Basic and Applied Sciences was created with the support of DST by establishing analytical instruments like Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS), Ion Chromatograph (IC) Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS), High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) etc.

The Water Policy of Kerala, adopted in 1992, was drafted by CWRDM. This was later revised in 2008 with the support of the Centre. CWRDM, published the Water Atlas of Kerala in 1995 and is now revised and is being made in digitized form. The Water Atlas of Lakshadweep Island  was published in 2006.  The Centre initiated the multi-crore JICA-funded eco-restoration project of Attappady and carried out consultancy works of the Kerala Forestry Projects and Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project funded by the World Bank, and the Dutch-funded water supply project utilizing the water of Bharathapuzha.  The ICEF-funded drinking water project in Lakshadweep Islands and the UNDP/DST/TIFA—funded Integrated Water Management project in Calicut city were implemented by CWRDM.

The Centre played the key role in getting Vembanad, Ashtamudi and Sasthamcotta Lakes declared as Ramsar sites.  It is again by the efforts of the Centre that the Kotooli wetland in Kozhikode is now considered as a wetland of National importance.  Advice on sustainable sand mining from rivers in northern districts of Kerala is being given to Local Self Government Departments. Ferro-cement technology was demonstrated and popularised for rainwater harvesting in different parts of the State and Lakshadweep Islands as a cost-effective option for improving the availability of safe drinking water in water scarce areas.  The Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) model for Kerala was developed by CWRDM through pilot studies in Malampuzha and Neyyar Irrigation project areas.

Many studies are also conducted in different regions outside Kerala. The Centre conducted studies for Goa (Extent and pattern of ground water utilization), Pondicherry-Mahe (Drinking water supply scheme), Manipur (Water management plan for Loktak Lake), Orissa (Sedimentation studies in Chilika Lake),  Aquatic & Fisheries Research Centre, Qatar (Designing of beach wells for sea water supply) etc. 

CWRDM also plays the role of water and Land Management Institutes (WALMI) in Kerala. Government officials and farmers are being trained under the programme.  Extensive trainings on integrated watershed management were given to representatives of LSGDs and NGSs under the People’s Planning Programme. Many national level training programs on irrigation management, Drip and sprinkler irrigation, watershed development, participatory irrigation management, and wetland management are conducted in CWRDM.  Centre also provides training and research opportunities for students and research scholars from Universities and other Academic Institutions.

During the year of International year of water co-operation, 2013, the State Government has assigned 8 projects to the Centre, in collaboration with the State Environment Department. CWRDM has conducted water security and water availability studies in 26 Panchayats in Kerala, as part of the second phase of Jalanidhi project, taken up by KRWSA. With funding from UNICEF, the Centre has completed projects in eight panchayats of Kozhikode for solving water sanitation problem. The Mobile Water Analysis Laboratory is providing services to 30 Panchayats and 2 Corporations. The State Government has authorized CWRDM to conduct studies on sand mining in the rivers flowing through Northern Kerala. The first river basin management action plan for the state is being prepared by CWRDM, in Chaliyar river basin. 

Some important projects being implemented are “Farmer Participatory Demonstration and Evaluation of Drip Fertigation Technique in Kerala” and “Integrated Mangrove-Aquaculture for the Environmental Management and Socio-Economic Upliftment of Rural People in Kerala” funded by DST, New Delhi; and“The study on evaluation of soil nutrient budgets at field, farm and regional level in humid tropics of Kerala and Development of a model for management of soil health” funded by Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), of Department of Science and Technology (DST). This is a part of India- Austria collaborative project (TIFAC– International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis-IIASA) on Sustaining and Improving the rural livelihoods through Adaptive approaches to Land, Soil nutrient and Water Management with CWRDM, National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR) and IIASA as partner institutions.

Research Links/Collaborations

Recognizing the capabilities of CWRDM, different departments and agencies of the Central and State Governments and International agencies like USAID, UNICEF, UNDP, UNEP, IAEA, ICEF, World Bank, National Academy of Sciences, Wetlands International, OECF, British Geological Survey, and European Union have all funded various programmes from time to time. Through the research and outreach activities, CWRDM strives to provide and disseminate knowledge and understanding to conserve our water resources for its sustainable use.

Academic Activities

CWRDM has academic links with Universities of Strathyclyde, Birmingham, Kyoto, and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK), Hydrologic Research Station (UK), Danish Institute, Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) etc. The Centre has common programmes with IITs, NITs and several universities in India. CWRDM has also provided technical assistance in various studies conducted by IITs of Chennai and Delhi.  CWRDM is a recognized research centre by Calicut University, Kannur University and Cochin University of Science and Technology. Many students pursue their PhD studies at CWRDM. The Centre also provides research guidance to Masters Students in their dissertation work.

Extension Activities

Extension activities are undertaken by the Training, Education and Extension division of CWRDM. Some of the extension activities taken up by TEED are given below

v  Demonstration of drip and sprinkler irrigation

v  Chemical clearing of field bothie

v  Demonstration of scientific water management for paddy

v  Lining of field bothies and field channels

v  Cropping pattern analysis and participatory homestead farming

v  Water saving technologies in uplands and paddy fields

v  Participatory research on paddy varietal selection

v  Rain water harvesting for ground water recharge

v  Pilot programme on paddy trench fish farming



                                                                                   For more details visit : www.cwrdm.org