In the early 60s, under the Agriculture Department, a small branch comprising a few Engineers was created for the purpose of supervision and maintenance of Agricultural implements in the Government Agricultural Farms. In the late 60s, the aforesaid branch was converted as full-fledged Directorate, namely, Agricultural Engineering Directorate under the control of Agriculture Department for implementations of Mino Irrigation Project in the State. In the first lap of 80s, a minor irrigation branch was opened as a branch of Agriculture Department and the Agricultural Engineering Directorate was placed its control. Finally, on 8th February 1995 a new Department in the name of Water Investigation & Development Department was created. Late on in the year 2008 the Department has been renamed as Water Resources Investigation & Development Department.
The Department of Water Resources Investigation and Development (DWRI&D) is mainly responsible for providing irrigation services to the small and marginal farmers of West Bengal by implementing various types of minor irrigation schemes under different programmes utilizing both the ground water and surface water resources. It deals with investigation and assessment of water resources both in terms of quality & quantity in the state. The Department is also involved for development of Command Area of major irrigation projects by construction of field channel schemes and water management programmes. In response to the emerging challenges, the Department has embarked upon large scale harvesting of rain water. Jal Dharo-Jal Bharo Programme has been continuing on multiple platforms.
This Department executes Excavation of Ponds, Tanks & Reservoirs, Harvesting of rain water in any kind of water bodies, Artificial Recharge and Rain Water Harvesting, Check Dams, Water Harvesting Tanks, Surface Flow Minor Irrigation Schemes, River lift irrigation schemes viz., Major, Mini & Midi , Micro Irrigation schemes viz., Drip, Sprinkler & Hydram and formulates different capacities of Tube well schemes viz., Heavy Duty Tube Well, Medium Duty Tube Well, Light Duty Tube Well and Shallow Tube well, Open Dug Well, Pump Dug Well, Solar operated Minor Irrigation schemes etc.At the end of 2014-15,total 56,983 schemes were set up by DWRI&D under different programmes in the State.
The Department is the controlling authority in respect of two major Directorates; two State owned Corporations and four CAD Authorities as noted hereunder:
- Water Resources Development Directorate.
- Command Area Development Authorities (CADAs) viz.
- Teesta Command Area Development Authority.
- Damodar Valley Command Area Development Authority.
- Kangsabati Command Area Development Authority and
- Mayurakshi Command Area Development Authority.
- State Water Investigation Directorate
- West Bengal State Minor Irrigation Corporation Ltd.
- West Bengal Agro-Industries Corporation Ltd.