Effective, sustainable and quality service delivery is the expectation of the people. The duty of service delivery of various tiers of governments under federal system of governance has been constitutionally spelled out. Water and sanitation facilities have been recognized as fundamental rights of the people in The Constitution of Nepal.
Water supply and sanitation sectoral policies, acts, rules and formation orders are the legal basis for functioning of the Ministry. Water supply and sanitation related functions were seen as shared responsibility of the central and local levels as per the provisions of Local Self Governance Act 1999 where as incumbent Constitution has also vested this function in all of the three tiers of governments.
The Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) under this Ministry, with responsibility of planning, implementation, operation, repair and maintenance of water supply and sanitation systems through out the country, is the lead implementing agency of the WASH sector where as the Ministry is the lead executing agency. Apart from the Department, there are Boards, Water Supply Corporation, Committees, Project Directorate and Water Tariff Fixation Commission as regulatory body for the urban water and sanitation services delivery.
सबै क्षेत्रगत सरोकारवालाहरुको संयुक्त सहकार्य र मन्त्रालयको अगुवाईमा खानेपानी र सरसफाइमा पछिल्लो दशकमा उल्लेख्य प्रगति हासिल गर्दै नेपालले खानेपानी तथा सरसफाइ क्षेत्रगत सहश्राब्दि बिकास लक्ष्य हासिल गरिसकेको छ । मन्त्रालय अब बि.सं. २०७४ सम्ममा सबै नेपाली जनतालाई आधारभूत खानेपानी र सरसफाइ सेवा उपलब्ध गराउने राष्ट्रिय लक्ष्य हासिल गर्ने तर्फ अग्रसर रहेको छ । त्यसैगरी संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघले आगामी १५ बर्षका लागि हालै घोषणा गरेको दिगो बिकासका लक्षहरु (SDGs) सामञ्जस्य हुनेगरी खानेपानी तथा सरसफाइ क्षेत्रको १५ बर्षे बिकास योजना (WASH Sector Development Plan, SDP) तयार गर्ने काम पनि मन्त्रालयले गरी रहेको छ ।
Similarly, the Ministry is also engaged in finalizing a "15 year Development Plan of Nepal WASH Sector" aligning it with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as declared by the United Nation's General Assembly for coming next 15 year period.
The Government of Nepal has instituted the Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation on 24th. December, 2015. The establishment of the new Ministry has coincided with the moment when Nepal WASH sector is becoming vibrant day by day and Nepal is achieving and committed to put due efforts to achieve many national and international set goals and targets in water, sanitation and hygiene, intended towards betterments of peoples' living standards. Immediately after its establishment, the Ministry has initiated to draft new policies and legislations as well as revisions of existing sector policies and legislations in line with the recently promulgated Federal Constitution of Nepal.
खानेपानी प्रणालीहरूको दिगोपना यस क्षेत्रकै लागि एक प्राथमिकताको सवाल हो । प्रणालीहरूको न्युन दिगोपन र सुचारूपनका पछाडि आंशिक रूपमा प्रणालीहरूको संचालन एबम् मर्मत सम्भार ब्यबस्थापनमा रहेको अपर्याप्तता कारकको रूपमा रहेको देखिन्छ । अध्ययन प्रतिवेदनहरूले के देखाउँछन् भने करिब एक तिहाई प्रणालीहरूमा खानेपानी सरसफाइ प्राविधिक उपलब्ध छन्, करिब एक तिहाई भन्दा केही बढी प्रणालीका उपभोक्ता संस्थाहरू मात्र कानुनतस् दर्ता गरिएका छन् र करिब ५५ प्रणालीहरूमा मात्र मर्मत सम्भार कोष रहेको छ ।
As per the revised Work Division rules (BS 2072) of Government of Nepal, the scope of works vested in the Ministry is as follows:
- Water supply and sanitation related policy, formulation of plans and programs, implementation, monitoring, regulation and evaluation;
- Water supply, sanitation and sewerage;
- Kathmandu Valley Water Supply Management Board;
- Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani (Valley Water Supply) Ltd.
- Kathmandu Valley Water Supply & Sanitation Project Implementation Directorate
- Nepal Water Supply Corporation
- Melamchi Water Supply Development Board and Melamchi WS Project
- Water Supply Tariff Fixation Commission
- Administration of Sanitary Sub-Group/Civil Group of Nepal Engineering Services
History of piped water supply system development in Nepal dates back to 1895 A.D., when the first Bir Dhara system (1891-1893) was commissioned in Kathmandu by then rana Prime Minister Bir Sumsher. The system also led to establishment of Pani Goshowara Adda (The office for water supply) and it provided limited private and community standpipes in few selected parts of Kathmandu. The water supply services were then gradually extended to few other prominent places like Amalekhgunj, Birgunj, Palpa and Jajarkot Khalanga where either the rana rulers themselves or their family/relatives resided.
Till then the sector started to receive a fair priority since the First Periodic Development Plan of 1956-61. But the sector activities were placed still under the Department of Irrigation for a long while until the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage (DWSS) was formally established in 1972. The Department itself was housed under the then Ministry of Water Resources. The sector was largely guided by the policies and programs as pronounced in the periodic and annual development programs of the Government. No sector policies and legislations were at place.
In mid eighties, the water supply sector was brought under the newly established Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning (MoHPP) which after few years was reinstituted into the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW). During this period the sector succeeded in developing essential policies and legislations. In the mean time sanitation also was given due focus along with water supply. Concept of integrated water supply and sanition projects (WatSan) was introduced and stand alonesanitation program was also launched. Later hygiene component was also started to consider as integral component part of water and sanitation interventions (WASH).
बि।सं। २०६८ मा भौतिक योजना तथा निर्माण मन्त्रालय समेत पुनर्गठन गरि सहरी बिकास मन्त्रालयको स्थापना भएपछि खानेपानी तथा सरसफाइ क्षेत्र यसै मन्त्रालय अन्तर्गत ल्याईयो। तथापी यस क्षेत्रले अझै यथोचित महत्व नपाएको अनुभूति गरी यस क्षेत्रका सरोकारवालाहरूले बिषय क्षेत्र केन्द्रित मन्त्रालय स्थापनाको आकाङक्षा संयुक्त क्षेत्रगत समिक्षाहरू (JSR 2011, JSR 2014) का घोषणा मार्फत ब्यक्त गर्दै आएको देखिन्छ।