Natural
Water
Cycle

Did you know that we have always had the same water on earth? We could be drinking the same water that dinosaurs once drank. Water constantly moves through a natural cycle of evaporation, condensation and precipitation which cleans water and allows it to move around the earth.
Scroll up and down to learn
about the Natural Water Cycle

Evaporation

Heat from the sun provides the energy for water to change from a liquid, like we drink, into a vapour. There is almost always water vapour in the air around us, but we can’t see it. On a hot, sunny day water will evaporate faster than on a cold, cloudy day.

Condensation

When water vapour cools, it condenses back into tiny droplets of liquid water. These droplets are small enough to float in the air and eventually collect together to make a cloud. Clouds can be blown by the wind to move water to different parts of the earth.

Precipitation

As more and more water droplets form, they will join together to form bigger water drops in the clouds. These drops become too heavy to stay in the air and will fall to earth as rain. If it is very cold, the water might freeze and fall as hail or snow. Any water that falls from the sky - rain, hail or snow - is called precipitation.

Runoff

Some precipitation will soak into the ground or be taken up by plants but the rest will runoff into streams, rivers, lakes and make its way to the ocean.

And the
cycle starts again

The sun and wind will cause water that has collected as runoff to evaporate and the natural water cycles starts again. Now here comes the sun again...
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