Midhill village life in Nepal, as elsewhere in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, is a daily struggle to cope with the problems posed by steep slopes and a demanding climate. Streams and rivers often lie far below hill settlements and cannot provide the water needed for daily life due to the prohibitively high cost of carrying by hand or pumping uphill. Thus the springs (or ‘mul’) that rise in the hills are critical to survival, supplying water for drinking, irrigation, and livestock, and generally sustaining domestic needs and the rural economy, especially during the long dry season. These springs are fed by groundwater which accumulates in underground aquifers during the monsoon. But many are now drying up, threatening a whole way of life.