The International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) was established by the U.S. Army Institute for Water Resources (IWR) in 2007 in collaboration with U.S. institutions and organizations sharing an interest in the advancement of the science and practice of integrated water resources management (IWRM) around the globe. It was formalized as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) category 2 water center in October 2009 with the signing of an agreement between the U.S. Government and UNESCO. The designation greatly facilitates ICIWaRM's ability to engage the UNESCO water family, serving as a focal point for increasing U.S. contributions to the International Hydrological Programme (IHP).
As a center working in partnership with UNESCO, ICIWaRM serves as a USG expertise center for technology transfer, integrating new ideas, science and technology developed both in the U.S. and through the various IHP programs and initiatives, with current "best management practices" for IWRM in order to achieve the objectives associated with the 7th phase of the IHP program (2008-2013), the UN Millennium Development Goals, the USACE Campaign Plan Goals, particularly as related to water resources systems, collaborative approaches, and environmental sustainability, consistent with USG goals for international water resources, as expressed through the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act.
ICIWaRM's activities are led and, in part, conducted by IWR's main office in Alexandria, Virginia, along with IWR's Hydrologic Engineering Center in Davis, California. However, much of the Center's work is accomplished by its partners, which include U.S. academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other U.S. Government federal agencies, and international organizations. Its initial emphasis is on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.