The water management technology was developed to enhance efficiencies in irrigation water conveyance and application at the tertiary irrigation level. The Water Management Wing of the Agriculture Department was formally established in 1980. Since the water management technology was newly introduced in the region, the Water Management Training Institute (WMTI) was established to impart trainings to the project staff, personnel of other departments, members of water users associations and farmers, in wide range of disciplines related to water management. Even now it is the only training facility in country to exclusively meet the training requirements in the field of water management. During its early establishment as OFWM Training and Research Institute in 1977, the mandate of the institute also included a component of research in water management since it was considered vital to examine and understand the technical criteria involved in irrigation at the farm level.  The research activities of the institute were, however, discontinued after establishment of the Directorate of Water Management Training in 1981. During the 38 years since its inception in 1981, the WMTI has conducted training courses ranging from duration of one day to three months to a wide spectrum of participants. To date, more than 81,000 personnel have been imparted training at the institute.

The institute is striving for enhancing the capacity and improving the quality of training and research in the fields of water management, high efficiency irrigation technologies, resource conservation and social mobilization to generate greater expertise, more effective manpower and knowledge base for implementation of various OFWM schemes.