Meeting Overview

Meeting Overview

All India WALMIs Meet – 2023

One of the greatest challenges of the present century would be to manage and maintain water security. Water security requires successful water resources management which in turn demands adequate infrastructure development and capabilities of stake holders. Worldwide large amount of amount of money has been invested on development of water resources and huge infrastructure has been created. In view of large scale development of multipurpose river valley projects, Irrigation dams and canal network there was need for establishing capacity building institutions. The shift from dry farming and rainfed farming to canal irrigated farming was a kind of innovation in the field of agriculture. This new irrigated farming system necessitated building capacity of stakeholders namely farmers and engineers.

What is lacking is capability or capacity of stakeholders. Capacity of stakeholders comprises of extent and quality of their knowledge, skills and attitudes. But, unfortunately a large knowledge gap is the root cause for the ills revolving around water management. This knowledge gap can only be bridged by adequate capacity building of stake holders. Therefore, like in any other sector, capacity building assumes special role in water resources sector. Thus need was felt for establishing institutions for capacity building in water and land resources management.

The idea of capacity building and institutional arrangements for water and land resources came up around 1970s in India. These institutions are called by different names like Water and Land Management Institutions (WALMI) or Irrigation Management Training Institutes (IMTIs) and other. The state governments established these institutions under their local acts around 1980s as per the directions of the Government of India and with liberal financial support from World Bank and the USAID.

Currently, there are 14 WALMIs;

    1. Water and Land Management Institute, Aurangabad
    2. Water and Land Management Institute, Bhopal
    3. Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute (WALAMTARI), Hyderabad
    4. Water and Land Management Institute, Patna
    5. Water and Land Management Institute, Anand
    6. Water and Land Management Institute, Cuttack
    7. Water and Land Management Institute, Kota
    8. Irrigation Management and Training Institute, Tiruchirapalli
    9. Water and Land Management Institute, Lucknow
    10. Water and Land Management Institute, Dharwad
    11. Haryana Irrigation Research and Management Institute, Kurukshetra
    12. North Eastern Institute for Water and Land Management, Tezpur
    13. Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kozikode
    14. Irrigation and Power Research Institute, Amritsar

These institutions have rendered great service in creation and dissemination of knowledge and capacity building in respect to water and land management. The main mandate of these institutions is to promote science and technology in water resources management.

Generally, WALMIs carryout following activities to achieve these goals: 

    • Training
    • Research
    • Demonstration
    • Technical Consultancy
    • Field Visits
    • Workshops/Seminars
    • Discussions
    • Collaborations/ MoU
    • Publications
    • Policy Advocacy

Strength of WALMIs

WALMIs have certain inherent strength and these include:

  • Establishment: They have been created by the respective State Acts under developmental Department
  • Mandate: Their mandate is clear cut in terms of capacity building for water and land resources management and enhancing water use efficiency in the irrigation canal command areas.
  • Connected to grassroots: By the very nature of their activities like training, demonstrations, research, workshops, field visits, study tours etc the institutions have close linkage with the field level functionaries like engineers and officers and are well connected with farmers and members of water users cooperative societies/associations
  • Multi Disciplinary: These institutions are multi disciplinary in the sense that they have faculty and officers from different subjects like civil, drainage, mechanical and irrigation engineering, agriculture, cooperation, audit and accounts etc working together in an integrated manner for promotion of efficient water resources management.
  • Infrastructure: Required infrastructure like land, buildings, hostels, play grounds, agricultural and horticultural farms has been created by the state Governments and international agencies like World Bank and USAID at the time of establishment of these stitutions.


Initially after their establishment WALMIs started their activities with enthusiasm. Of late these institutions are not performing as  expected. They are facing serious challenges like, organizational arrangements, performance, funds, faculty, staff and some infrastructure facilities, among others.

  • Change in parent Department of Government (WRD/Agri/Soil Conservation etc)
  • Absence of well defined service rules and regulations
  • Infrastructural shortages (a few of them)
  • Shortage of Funds
  • Shortage of Faculty and Staff
  • Large number of stake holders spread across vast areas
  • Absence of Regional Centers in the command areas

A way forward….

In view of the growing water crisis, these institutions should have got a boost. Unfortunately they are not getting the required priority in development agenda. In view of the growing global and national water crisis, there is an urgent need for strengthening these capacity building institutions. There is no need for blame game as each one of us own up the responsibility in view of the need for strengthening these crucial institutions. Building capacity of stakeholders in water and land management by institutions like WALMIs/IMTIs in India will definitely help solve the water crisis. This in turn will boost farm productivity, employment and incomes and thus add to the overall prosperity of the country. With adequate support these institutions will fulfill their mandate of capacity building of farmers and engineers in water management. This in turn will help efficient water management and improve water security.

Officers of WALMIs/IMTIs have been interacting on an informal basis for knowing about the activities. There has been no formal mechanism for these institutions to interact on permanent and regular basis. In view of these facts it is proposed organize an All India WALMIs Meet to bring together the stake holders on a single platform. The stake holders include – officers, faculty and staff of WALMIs, officers of state government and parent department, officers of central Government, farmers and water and land management experts and academicians. The Meet is expected to deliberate on past, performance, current status, progress, challenges and future prospects and learning from each other for strengthening of these institutions. The outcomes / recommendations of the Meet can form the basis of a document- Dharwad Declaration on WALMIs. The declaration can lay out a road map for development of WALMIs. This way the crucial capacity building institutions like WALMIs/IMTIs can perform their mandated functions and help in achieving successful water, land and crop management and farmers’ welfare, which is ultimate goal of the State.

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