Where is water found?
Around 70% of our planet is water, this means there is more water than land! This is why it is so easy to find water. Water is on land, in the oceans, and in the air. It even runs through the pipes of our homes.
What is the water cycle?
There is always the same amount of water on the planet. This is because water has its own cycle, similar to recycling. The water cycle is the journey water takes when it changes from one state to another.
The cycle can begin at any point, but let’s start with the oceans. Large areas of water, like the ocean, receive a lot of heat from the Sun. As the water heats, it starts to evaporate (evaporation), turning into vapour and flying up into the sky.
Way up high in the sky the temperature is cooler. When vapour gets too cold it turns back into liquid (condensation). The wind moves the moisture forming clouds and when they are so heavy with water they become rain clouds. When the water falls from the sky it can fall either as rain, snow, sleet or hail (precipitation).
The water that falls to the ground will form puddles or make its way to rivers and streams (run-off). It can also be absorbed into the soil (infiltration). If the water goes really deep into the ground it can fill up underground pockets (percolation).
Water can also travel from deep underground to the surface where it can evaporate again or run-off. Water that runs-off eventually ends up back in the seas and oceans and the whole thing starts again.
Water can also make its way up to the sky thanks to the help of plants when they transpire. Transpiration is similar to the human way of sweating.
Evaporation is the name of the process where liquid turns into gas. When we boil a kettle some of the liquid becomes so hot it turns into steam or vapour, it evaporates. Another example of evaporation is when water from a puddle dries up, the water doesn’t disappear, it just evaporates into gas.