The Water Cycle
Water moves from the oceans and
land into the air and back again
The water cycle has no beginning or
end, but you can describe it having
four main parts.
The sun’s energy warms liquid water on
Some of the liquid changes to a gas –
this is called Evaporation, the change
from a liquid to a gas.
Water Vapor (water in the form of a gas)
now moves into the atmosphere
Plants pull water from ground
through roots into stems and leaves.
Plants release water vapor through
tiny openings in leaves.
This is called Transpiration.
As water vapor rises it cools.
When it cools enough it turns back into
a liquid. This is called Condensation
(change from a gas to a liquid)
The water droplets in the sky form
clouds, on the ground it forms dew.
Droplets in clouds combine to form
When drops become too heavy they
fall back to Earth as Precipitation
(water that falls from the
Rain, snow, hail, and sleet are all
forms of precipitation.
Rain is liquid water.
Snow, hail, and sleet are forms of
solid, or frozen, water.
Water falls into the oceans and on
Some water soaks into the soil and
collects as underground water,
Plant roots soak up groundwater.
People tap into ground water by
Some water is pulled over the
surface of Earth by gravity.
This water that flows over the land
surface is called runoff.
It flows into bodies of water, such as
rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Then the sun’s energy warms some
of it, and it evaporates again.
The cycle continues.