The water cycle

Filler Up = The Water Table The Water Table is found underground where the rock and soil begin to be filled or “saturated” with water. It also marks the very top of the ground water layer.

Filler Up = The Water Table

The Water Table is found underground where the rock and soil begin to be filled or “saturated” with water. It also marks the very top of the ground water layer.

Where the water table meets the land surface, a spring might bubble up or seep from the ground and flow into a lake, stream woodland, or the ocean. When ground water meets the land surface, it flows out and helps keep rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands filled with water.

Up, Up in the Air = Evaporation

Warmth from the sun causes water from lakes, streams, ice, and soils to turn into water vapor in the air. Almost all of the precipitated water (80 percent) goes right back into the air because of evaporation.

The rest runs off the land or soaks into the ground to become ground water.

Humidity = Water Vapor

Water vapor is water in a gas form that is held in the air until it changes back to water. You know, sometimes it’s sticky outside in the summer – that’s just water held in the air.

The water can change into fine droplets by “condensing” in the air, and we get clouds.

When the droplets get big enough, they are pulled to the earth by gravity as precipitation, better known as rain, sleet, snow, hail, dew, or frost.

Watered Down = Precipitation

Precipitation is Rain and Snow which is made up of any type of water that falls to the earth like snow, hail, mist, or rain.

Most of it (80 percent) evaporates or transpires through plants and never reaches lakes, streams, or ground water.

The rest, runs off the land into lakes, streams, wetlands or rivers (also called “surface water”), or, it soaks right into the ground.

Soaking it Up = Infiltration

Infiltration happens when water soaks into the soil from the ground level. It moves underground and moves between the soil and rocks.

Some of the water will be soaked up by roots to help plants grow. The plant’s leaves eventually release the water into the air through the plant’s pores.

Some of the water keeps moving down into the soil to a level that is filled with water, called ground water. The very top of this layer filled with ground water is called the water table.

Environmental
Education for Kids

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