The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is characterized by complex topography, climate, hydrology, and hydrogeology. Each of these factors plays an important role in determining the availability of water for people living in the Himalayas (Scott et al., 2019). These physical features are also a constraint to rapid urbanization (Mukherji et al., 2018). Only 3% of the total HKH population live in larger cities and 8% in smaller towns (Basyal & Khanal, 2001). However, urbanization has increased in recent years with people from rural areas flocking to nearby urban centres in search of employment and other economic opportunities (Bajracharya et al., 2019). As a result, the share of urban population is increasing in the region, while that of the rural population is declining. Projections show that by 2050, more than 50% of the population in HKH...