To date, there has been limited empirical research on the structure of informal water vending markets in developing countries. From fieldwork conducted in Kathmandu in 2014, including a survey of different types of water vendors, household interviews, and in-depth interviews with key informants, we provide a detailed description of the activities of multiple types of water vendors and examine the profitability of tanker truck vendors and water source vendors. We find that several distinctive markets operate along the supply chain between source water and end users. We conclude that a detailed understanding of the different vending activities in which water vendors engage is essential to the design of public sector policy interventions aimed at improving performance in informal water markets.

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