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.