Brief on IWM


Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) provides world–class services in the field of Water Modelling, Computational Hydraulics & Allied Sciences for improved integrated Water Resources Management. The applications of IWM modelling tools cover a wide range of water related areas such as: flood control, flood forecasting, irrigation and drainage, river morphology, salinity and sediment transport, coastal hydraulics, port, coast and estuary management, environmental impact assessment, bridge hydraulics and related infrastructure

Background of Organisation

IWM owes its genesis to the Surface Water Simulation Modelling Programme (SWSMP launched in 1986 by the Ministry of Water Resources under the Master Planning Organization to develop a high level of analytical capabilities by use of state-of-the-art mathematical water modelling.

With an added impetus generated by the two disastrous floods of 1987 and 1988, for developing a sustainable professional institution in carrying out all the mathematical water modelling tasks in Bangladesh, including hosting of all Flood Action Plan models the SWSMP continued in its 2nd and 3rd phases with the technical guidance DHI by forming a new project organisation Surface Water Modelling Centre (SWMC). By the end of 1996, SWMC was transformed into an independent organisation under the Trust Act.

From the 1st of August, 2002 Surface Water Modelling Centre (SWMC) has been renamed as Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) in matching with its research and learning status created in its user community

IWM Management

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of IWM and gives policy guidelines to the management. Forteen Trustees have been drawn from different ministries, departments and organizations of Bangladesh and abroad. The Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources is the Chairperson of the Trust. The daily management is the responsibility of the Executive Director. IWM services are offered through seven divisions. These are: Irrigation Management, Water Resources Planning, River Engineering, Flood Management, Survey and Data, Coast, Port and Estuary Management and ICT-GIS Division. The central functions are managed through a number of units. These are : Human Resource Development, Research and Development, Quality Management, System Management.

Staff Resources & Field of Expertise

The number of staff in IWM is about 160, of whom more than 70% are professionals of high standard in their respective fields. Regular training programmes both at home and abroad are conducted to develop their expertise in relevant fields. Some staff are currently pursuing higher studies abroad (MS and PhD) and the Institute encourages such programmes for upgrading expertise.

Technological Partners

Over the years IWM has established close linkages with different national and international institutions. DHI Water and Environment of Denmark has been a close partner in the technology transfer. Similar linkages were also established with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, HR Wallingford, UK and Delft Hydraulics of the Netherlands.


IWM has a high degree of competence in the field of computational hydraulics. Today IWM models are widely applied in Bangladesh to study river flow and floods, irrigation and drainage, morphology and sediment transport, salinity and water quality, off take dynamics, coastal and offshore hydraulics, marine environment and groundwater flow processes. Hydrodynamic models are also applied to support the planning of dredging at river beds, hydraulic design of bridges and river training works, cooling water studies for power plants, siltation at the port and harbours, coastal protection, land reclamation and navigation route maintenance, flood forecasting and warning and biodiversity conservation.

In developing the models, IWM undertakes its own data campaign and has earned a high reputation for fast and cost effective river surveys in large rivers using state-of-the-art techniques and equipment such as RTK-GPS, DGPS, digital echo sounder, ADCP, directional current meter and turbidity meter. Presently systematic campaigns are undertaken to produce GIS based topographic maps using digital geo-references, Geoid Models and total siltation. IWM has developed a very comprehensive database covering almost the entire country for a long period; the database is computerized and is maintained online.

Overseas Experience

The Institute has also provided services in the Flood Forecasting of Sarwak Valley of Malaysia, Neel Ganga River of Sri Lanka. Sea Level Rise with the University of Newzealand, Capacity building of National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia, EIA of Coastal Land Development projects in the Zohor Bay, Langkawi island and Malacca Strait in Malaysia.

Future of IWM

IWM in the last seven years has managed to develop, expand and widen itself. The turnover of the Trust has increased to three times since 1996 and the staff strength to more than double. With a new name as IWM it intends to broaden its horizon in the field of education, training and research. The overall degradation in water related environment in the country requires more attention and IWM intends to carry out extensive research and training in these fields. At the same time IWM is determined to remain the market leader and provide world-class service in the field of water modeling, Computational Hydraulics and allied sciences. With a team of dedicated and competent professional staff the organization has all the potential to become even more successful and renowned in its days to come. IWM has planned to expand the market both in the country and outside. Its vision is to be a reference centre in the region by 2019 and in Asia by 2020.