Tap Water Safety in Nepal

Can you drink the tap water in Nepal?

In general, no.

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Nepal (source).

Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.

What do people in Nepal think about the tap water?

Don’t drink the water in Nepal. Ice should be avoided except in upmarket tourist-oriented restaurants. While trekking, purify your own water rather than buying purified water in polluting plastic bottles.

Water Purification

The easiest way to purify water is to boil it thoroughly. Chlorine tablets (eg Puritabs or Steritabs) kill many pathogens but are not effective against giardia and amoebic cysts. Follow the directions carefully“ filter water through a cloth before adding the chemicals and be sure to wet the thread on the lid to your water bottle. Once the water is purified, vitamin C or neutralizing tablets can be added to remove the chemical taste.

Chlorine is more effective against giardia and amoebic cysts when combined with phosphoric acid (eg Aquamira). Iodine can be used as effectively as chlorine but is now discouraged by medics in the UK. Trekking filters take out all parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and make water safe to drink. However, it is very important to read the specifications so that you know exactly what the filter removes from the water. Another option is a UV light-based treatment such as a Steripen, but water has to be clear for this to work.


Prithvi Narayan's heirs Pratap Singh, Rana Bahadur and Girvan Yuddha continued expansion of their kingdom into the Koshi river basin east of the Bagmati system. Like the Gandaki, the Koshi traditionally has seven major tributaries descending from the Himalayas before joining forces to break through the Mahabharat and Siwalik ranges. Ranges drained by Koshi tributaries include Mount Everest and its neighbouring peaks, as well as the western side of the Kangchenjunga massif. Kangchenjunga and a high ridge to the south are the watershed between the Koshi and Tista basins as well as the border between Nepal and the former kingdom of Sikkim that India annexed in 1975.

The most commonly searched cities in Nepal are:

For a full list of cities in Nepal, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Nepal Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 89 percent of Nepal have access to drinkable tap water.

In 2000, 24% of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 80% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In Nepal, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 34%.

The rural availability figures at 26%

World Health Organization's 2017 Nepal Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Nepal includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited

What Do People In Nepal Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers and residents of Nepal have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.

A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility65%High
Water Pollution76%High
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility35%Moderate
Water Quality24%Low

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View our tap water report on all cities in Nepal

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