The department was established in 1955 as an Asian African Centre to honour India's commitment at the Asian African Conference held in Bandung. The department offers application based Postgraduate Degree programmes in Water Resources Development and Irrigation Water Management primarly for imparting training to in-service Engineers (Civil, Electrical and Mechanical) and Agricultural Scientists. Sponsorship from the organisation is essential for obtaining admission to various programmes in the department. A balanced blend of academicans and field engineers in the faculty with long experience in planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of water resources and hydropower projects help in implementation of application oriented academic programmes. The department is actively involved in research, development and extension activities in the areas of water resources, hydropower and irrigation management. The department provides consultancy services for irrigation, flood control, drainage, groundwater development and power sectors. The objective of the Department is to develop mainpower that can take the responsibility of sustainable development and environment friendly management of the available water resources. Non-conventional methods for utilisation of water such as cropping system modeling & planning, inter-basin transfer, ground water recharge through rainwater harvesting are espepecially incorporated in the course curricula. The department has so far trained over 2543 in service engineers and agriculutral scientists from 50 countries including India.