Water Institute (WI), formerly known as 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 organisational status from a unit in the Ministry of Water to an Executive Agency
The aim of Water Development and Management 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.
RWRI originally adopted the City and Guilds (London) curriculum which was then being used by Dares Salaam Technical College (now Dares Salaam Institute of Technology). This curriculum was later revised in the 1980’s to make it more adaptable to the needs of the water sector. Another curriculum review exercise was done in 2004 using National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) curriculum development guidelines. From 1974 to 2007, RWRI had trained over 10,000 artisans in various trades and about 2,000 technicians in water supply engineering, hydrology and meteorology, hydrogeology and water well drilling and water laboratory technology programs.
WDMI 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
WDMI is fully registered and its programs are accredited by the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) with exception of artisans and VET programs.
WDMI has three estates, namely Ubungo, Tabata and Mabibo. The Main campus is located in Ubungo area, along the University Road nearby the College of Engineering and Technology of University of Dares Salaam. It has total area of 18 hectares of which 3 are not yet developed. The Tabata estate has total area of about 7 hectares, of which only 1 hectare has been developed and the Mabibo estate of about 2 hectares which is fully developed.