This paper draws on participatory research with 47 household water managers over the dry, pre-monsoon, and monsoon season, alongside expert knowledge of water management in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Doing so, it presents the perspectives of water managers to highlight three dimensions of water security that existing approaches often overlook. First, experiences of water security vary greatly between households over the year, even within a relatively small geographic area. Second, social connections and landownership play an important role in mediating these experiences. Third, coping with poor water supply places a burden on certain household members. This paper argues that addressing water inequities and insecurities demands research, development and policy responses to look beyond the main pipe network and engage with the variety of ways in which households secure water.