The Department of Water Resources Development (DWRD)

DWRD is one of the five departments in the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation. Its headquarters is stationed in Lusaka the capital city of Zambia. Headed by the Director, the structure of the department is centered on three thematic areas defined as Sections namely Surface water, Ground Water and Transboundary Waters which are headed by assistant directors respectively. The department has its presence in all provincial and district centers. Over time, the department has evolved assuming different names and responsibilities on the way until now when it is known as Department of Water Resources Development (DWRD).

Mandate and Functions

To provide policy guidance on national water resources related issues and develop both surface and groundwater resources of inland and transboundary water bodies in order to ensure adequate water resources availability and equitable access by all users for sustainable national socio-economic development.

Core Functions

  1. Construct, rehabilitate and maintain water resources infrastructure in order to harness water resources for use;
  2. Formulate and review water resources development strategy and action plans in order to facilitate resource mobilization and attainment of set objectives;
  3. Conduct exploratory research and surveys on the availability of water resources in order to facilitate their development;
  4. Provide technical guidance and support to stakeholder institutions on matters relating to water resources development in order to ensure effective utilization;
  5. Collaborate with Stakeholders in planning and implementation of water resources development programmes in order to ensure a harmonized approach to programme execution;
  6. Conduct research on water development related issues in order to facilitate evidence-based planning and decision making;
  7. Maintain a comprehensive geo-spatial database on dams and exploratory boreholes in order to facilitate storage and retrieval of information for decision making;
  8. Develop and implement programmes on transboundary waters in order to foster international and regional cooperation on their utilization;
  9. Facilitate the development and review of policies and legislation on water in order to provide an appropriate framework for the effective management and implementation of programmes; and
  10. Supervise the implementation of programmes and projects in order to recommend appropriate interventions and ensure attainment of set goals.


  • Groundwater – Undertakes groundwater exploration and mapping as well as developing wellfields for multipurpose uses
  • Surfacewater – Facilitates and undertakes construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of hydraulic infrastructure such as dams, weirs, bulk water transfer schemes, rain water harvesters etc, for multipurpose uses
  • International waters

    The International Waters Section  is responsible for coordinating the management and development of transboundary water resources, as part of DWRD  mandate to promote sustainable management of shared waters and international water cooperation.  This involves the collaboration with surrounding states in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region on issues relevant to the equitable and reasonable utilization of Southern Africa’s water resources, notably those of the Congo and Zambezi Basins as well as enhancing Transboundary and International Water Cooperation.


  • Groundwater exploration ( Drilling of Boreholes)
  • Technical assessment and geophysical investigations ( Borehole Siting)
  • Aquifer mapping – Production of hydrogeology maps
  • Dam surveys, Dam inventory, Dam design and construction, Dam rehabilitation and Maintenance