- The water cycle
- The sun’s role in the water cycle
- The evaporation and condensation process
- The precipitation process
- The infiltration and percolation process
- The surface runoff process
- The groundwater flow process
- The groundwater recharge process
- The water treatment and distribution process
- The wastewater treatment and reuse process
The water cycle is one of the most fascinating and important processes on Earth. It is also one of the most complex, with countless interconnected factors at play. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at one key question: which points in the water cycle below best illustrate the concept of evaporation?
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The water cycle
The water cycle is the journey water takes as it circulates from the land to the sky and back again.
There are many different ways to cycle water, but the most common way water is cycled is through what is called the hydrologic, or water, cycle. The hydrologic cycle has four main steps:
1) Precipitation – Precipitation is any form of water that falls from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface, such as rain, snow, or hail. When precipitation falls, it either soaks into the ground or collects on the surface of the land.
2) Runoff – Runoff is precipitation that does not soak into the ground but instead runs off of surfaces such as sidewalks, driveways, and roads. Runoff often collects in drainage systems such as storm drains and sewers which eventually empty into bodies of water such as rivers and lakes. Some of this runoff may be stored in reservoirs for later use.
3) Infiltration – Infiltration is precipitation that soaks into the ground. As infiltration occurs, water moves through spaces between particles of soil and rock until it reaches an area where there are no spaces (an aquifer). Aquifers are underground layers of rock or sand that hold groundwater.
4) Transpiration – Transpiration is evaporation that occurs from plants. Water enters a plant through its roots and then moves up through its stem to its leaves where transpiration occurs.
The sun’s role in the water cycle
The sun’s role in the water cycle is most evidenced by the fact that it evaporates water from lakes and oceans, which then condenses and falls back to Earth as precipitation. This continual cycle is what makes it possible for life to exist on our planet.
The evaporation and condensation process
The water cycle is the process by which water moves from one state to another. The main points in the water cycle are Evaporation, Condensation, and Precipitation.
Evaporation is when water turns from a liquid to a gas. This can happen when water is heated by the sun or when it evaporates off of your skin. Condensation is when water vapor (a gas) turns back into liquid form. This can happen when cold air meets warm air and the vapor gets cooled and “condenses” into tiny droplets of water. Precipitation is when liquid or solid form rain, sleet, or snow from the sky.
The precipitation process
The precipitation process is the one in which water droplets fall from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface. This can happen when the air is cooled to its dew point, or when warm air rises and cools, such as in thunderstorms.
The infiltration and percolation process
Infiltration is the process where water on the ground surface enters the soil. Percolation is the process where water moves through the soil.
The surface runoff process
The surface runoff process is one of the most important steps in the water cycle. It occurs when rain or melted snow falls on the ground and then runs off into lakes, rivers, or streams. Surface runoff is a major source of water for many activities such as irrigation, domestic use, and power generation.
The groundwater flow process
The groundwater flow process is one of the most important aspects of the water cycle, as it is responsible for the movement of water below the surface of the earth. This process begins when rainwater or melted snow seeps into the ground, where it is quickly taken up by plants. The water then percolates down through the soil and bedrock until it reaches an aquifer, a layer of rock or sediment that is saturated with water. Once the water reaches an aquifer, it can either remain there or begin to flow through the aquifer to another location.
The groundwater recharge process
The water cycle is the Earth’s natural process of recycling water. Water vapor in the atmosphere condenses and falls as precipitation, which seeps into the ground and becomes groundwater. The groundwater recharge process is when water from rainfall and snowmelt seeps into the ground, where it is stored in aquifers. Aquifers are underground layers of rock, sediment, or soil that hold groundwater. When the groundwater level in an aquifer drops below the level of the water table, it is said to be “recharged.”
The water treatment and distribution process
The water treatment and distribution process is a critical part of the water cycle. This process cleans and transported water from its source to our homes and businesses.
The wastewater treatment and reuse process
The best way to illustrate the wastewater treatment and reuse process is by starting at the beginning of the water cycle. Wastewater begins as precipitation, which can be in the form of rain, snow, or other types of weather. This precipitation eventually seeps into the ground and becomes part of the groundwater supply. Once water is used by humans or industry, it becomes contaminated with pollutants. This water is then sent to a wastewater treatment facility where it is treated to remove contaminants before being discharged back into the environment.