Water loss and water recycling in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) is a major issue. As a result of electro-osmotic drag, water accumulates at the cathode and hydraulic pressure builds up. The rate of water permeation under hydraulic pressure was measured for several nanoporous proton-conducting membranes (NP-PCMs) and for Nafion 117. Water-permeation rate in NP-PCM is up to 18 times that in Nafion 117. With the use of a liquid-water barrier layer, water loss can be minimized and this can lead to water-neutral operation conditions. In such a case the weight, volume, and complexity of the DMFC system would be reduced.