Upper Mustang, a Nepalese valley of high environmental, social and historical interest, and part of the Mustang District, is located in the Trans Himalayan Region, bordering Tibet to the North, East and West, and from the South along the Kali-Gandaky Valley. The Upper Mustang area was opened to controlled tourism in 1992, such that no more than one thousand trekkers are allowed to visit this area annually.

In order to give a clear view of the environmental quality in Upper Mustang, an evaluation has been made of socio-economic factors, water quality conditions, and tourism characteristics using a combination of biophysical parameters, demographic and human considerations, and the Tourist Positioning Index. With respect to ecosystem health, river water quality, spring water quality, state of human ecology and carrying capacity were considered.

The observations from this study show that village water resources are vulnerable due to fecal pollution. Water used for drinking is exposed to human and animal fecal pollution because the area is almost totally devoid of sewage systems for the effective disposal of wastewater and human wastes. It is necessary to carry out drainage system in the villages and to protect the taps from animal and human fecal wastes with ‘respect areas.’

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