All irrigation activity in Assam was taken by Agriculture Department until 1968.Subsequent to the devastating flood in 1954, the necessity of setting up of a dedicated department dealing Water Resources in the State was strongly felt. It was only in 1970 that the Brahmaputra Flood Control Commission as well as Flood Control & Irrigation Department was formed. At that time this Flood Control and Irrigation Department was entrusted with the Flood Control works in the Barak Valley and irrigation works in the entire State including survey, investigation, planning, designing and execution of irrigation schemes and their operation and maintenance. Subsequently, this department was renamed as Public Works (Flood Control & Irrigation) Department, Assam and the flood control works of Brahmaputra Valley was entrusted to the department. With the introduction of High Yielding Variety crops, the demand of irrigation started gaining momentum and finally in 1974, the present irrigation department was born by bifurcating the Public Works (Flood Control & Irrigation) Department amalgamating the engineering wing of the Agriculture Department alongwith the Irrigation schemes constructed by the Agriculture Department to deal exclusively with the irrigation development of the State.
The oldest existing scheme in Assam as per records Alternative Flow Irrigation Scheme in Kokrajhar taken up before 1950. One of first irrigation scheme in Assam that is still functioning is C M Dutta Bund Minor Irrigation scheme in Kalaigaon. Two other schemes are Sukhajani and Noanadi F.I.S. All the three schemes were taken up in 1955-56. The first Major irrigation Project is Jamuna Irrigation Project that was taken up in 1964-65 and was completed in 1968.