Water Cycle

Water moves in a continuous cycle called the water cycle. The water cycle allows the water on earth to change from one form to another, being recycled and reused. Would you believe that we have the same amount of water on Earth today as we did when the dinosaurs were around? That is a lot of recycling. Now let's take a look to see how the water cycle works. First of all let me explain that water comes in different forms such as liquid, solid water (ice), and water as a gas (vapor).

1. Sunshine/Evaporation How does the water cycle work you ask? The water cycle is actually powered by the sun's heat and light energy. We begin with evaporation. Evaporation is the process of water transforming from a liquid into a gas. Evaporation takes place when water rises from the sun's energy.

2. Cloud/Condensation Did you ever have a cold drink and your glass is all wet on the outside? That's condensation. Condensation is the process of water transforming from a gas into a liquid. It occurs when warm air rises, cools, and loses its capacity to hold water vapor. The water vapor condenses and forms cloud droplets.

3. Precipitation The water droplets from the condensation from clouds that get bigger and bigger and drop to the earth in the form or precipitation. Precipitation is when water falls to the earth in the form of rain, snow or sleet, depending on the temperature.

4. Groundwater/Aquifer Now that the water has fallen to the earth, where does it go? It either seeps into the ground or flows into rivers and lakes. The water that seeps into the ground flows into rivers and lakes. The water that seeps into the ground is called groundwater. This water percolates from the earth's surface to the aquifers. The aquifers hold water underground and it flows into streams. As you see, the water continues to recycle itself. That's why it's important to protect the water we have on earth today. Be an active participant in your community and stop pollution from entering our source water.

5. Transpiration Transpiration can then take place. Transpiration is the process where living plants release water vapor into the atmosphere. Have you ever noticed your breath on a cold day? Of course you have. You are giving off water vapor from your body.