Water security is arguably the single most important factor regarding the future sustainability of our planet. Without water we have no life, and with depleting freshwater resources conflict can easily ensue. The intersection between hydrology and politics requires a delicate balancing from decision-makers to ensure policy is well-informed and science is well communicated. In this paper, we discuss water issues currently faced by Nepal, a nation where freshwater resources are abundant yet political pressures are threatening future water security. We argue that despite adequate water supplies a nation may still experience severe water insecurity, particularly if effective governance and equitable access are not prioritised. We explore potential policy options necessary to achieve a holistic framework for water resources management, which we suggest, need to consider water resource reliability, accessibility and governance as fundamental pillars for ensuring water security. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.