WEPA Database


Last Updated : 07 February 2023.

Nepal has abundant water resources. Average annual precipitation is around 1,500 mm, ranging from over 6,000 mm along the southern slopes of the Annapurna Range in central Nepal to less than 250 mm in the northcentral portion near the Tibetan plateau. About 10% of total precipitation in Nepal falls as snow, mostly in the 23% of Nepal’s total area that lies above the permanent snowline of 5,000 m. There are 3,252 glaciers covering an area of 5,323 km2 (or 3.6% of Nepal’s total area), with an estimated ice reserve of 481 km3, and 2,323 glacial lakes, covering an area of 75 km2. The snow-capped Himalayas is the main source of rivers in the country, especially during the dry season.

Legal framework

  • Environmental Protection Act (Outside source)
    The aim of the act is to protect the fundamental right of each citizen to live in a clean and healthy environment, provide the victim with compensation by the polluter for any damage resulting from environmental pollution or degradation, maintain a proper balance between environment and development, mitigate adverse environmental impacts on environment and biodiversity and face the challenges posed by climate change.
  • Forest Act
    This Act governs all forest and related resources focusing on forest management, while contributing to the conservation of wildlife, environment, and water resources.
  • Water Supply and Sanitation Act (In the Parliament and will be endorsed later)
    This Act governs all water supply and sanitation protection of the country.
  • Water Resources Act
    This act aims to make timely legal arrangements for determining beneficial uses of water resources, preventing environmental and other hazardous effects thereof and also for keeping water resources free from pollution.
  • Water Resources Rules

Institutional Arrangement of water

Water quality standards

Environmental Standards in Nepal (In Nepali; please see pp.46-56 for the industrial effluent standards)

Technical standards and related information

Water management practices