Water Institute (formerly Water Development and Management Institute) and Water Resources Institute (WRI) was established in the year 1974, being a unit in the Ministry of Water and Energy. The aim was to meet the need for middle-level water technicians under the former National massive 20-years Rural Water Supply Programme (1971-1991). In 1980 the name of the Institute was changed to Rwegarulila Water Resources Institute (RWRI).
On 22nd August 2008 former name of the Institute was changed to Water Development and Management Institute (WDMI) following a transformation of organizational status from a unit in the Ministry of Water to an Executive Agency
Now, Water Institute, the aim of Water Institute is to develop and provide expertise required in the water sector through training, consultancy, and research under the policy guidelines of the Ministry of Water.
Water Institute provides training programmes leading to National Technical Awards (NTA) level 4, 5 and 6 in Water Supply and Sanitation Engineering; Hydrology and Meteorology; Hydrogeology and Water Well Drilling; Water Laboratory Technology and Irrigation Engineering.
After 2008 up to 2013 the institute being an executive agency a total of 758 students has been enrolled indicating a rapid growth in enrolment in comparison to previous enrolment before being an executive agency
WI is fully registered and its programs are accredited by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE).