Information on the Water Cycle

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The Water Cycle

Water Cycle
What is the Water Cycle?

The Water Cycle (also known as the hydrologic cycle) is the journey water takes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again.

Interactive Game
Can you put all the labels in the right places?

The story of the Water Cycle

Why do we need the water cycle?

The Earth is covered by water, however, almost 97% is salt water found in the oceans. We can not drink salt water or use it for crops because of the salt content. We can remove salt from ocean water, but the process is very expensive.

How many processes make up the water cycle?

There are six important processes that make up the water cycle.

  1. Condensation - the opposite of evaporation. Condensation occurs when a gas is changed into a liquid.

  2. Infiltration - Infiltration is an important process where rain water soaks into the ground, through the soil and underlying rock layers.

  3. Runoff - Much of the water that returns to Earth as precipitation runs off the surface of the land, and flows down hill into streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

  4. Evaporation - the process where a liquid, in this case water, changes from its liquid state to a gaseous state.

  5. Precipitation - When the temperature and atmospheric pressure are right, the small droplets of water in clouds form larger droplets and precipitation occurs. The raindrops fall to Earth. 

  6. Transpiration - As plants absorb water from the soil, the water moves from the roots through the stems to the leaves. Once the water reaches the leaves, some of it evaporates from the leaves, adding to the amount of water vapor in the air. This process of evaporation through plant leaves is called transpiration.

Channel Four Channel 4 Geography Essentials - Water

Facts, activities, a quiz and teacher resources on the importance of clean water and its conservation.

Water for All

Water for All – Oxfam GB's online learning resource on water and change

Water for All contains classroom activities and case studies on a range of water-related issues and their impacts, using Oxfam colour photographs.

Water Aid

Water Aid - Learn zone for the under 11s

Play WaterAid’s game and see how you would help villagers build a water supply. Lots of other activites too.

The Water Cycle - Diagram to print out

Interactive Activity

The Oceans - Find out some amazing facts. Do you know why there are tides?

Water Science - Where is water produced? How pure is water? Anyone who has ever taken a drink of tap water needs to understand the science of water. Consider the chemistry of water before you pour your next glass.

Water - What is water? Why do we need it?

Water Cycle Climate

For help with a project on Rivers please visit our Geography page.

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Join Winnie the Pooh on his voyage down the River Thames. See the many picturesque villages and towns along the way from the source to the North Sea.

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©Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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I teach computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.