Learn about the water cycle

The water cycle, a continuous and dynamic journey of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth, is a spectacular example of nature's ingenuity. It begins with evaporation, where water from oceans, rivers, and lakes transforms into vapor and ascends into the atmosphere. Plants also contribute through transpiration, releasing water vapor from their leaves. In the sky, this water vapor cools and condenses into clouds, a process known as condensation. These clouds, driven by wind, traverse the globe, acting like atmospheric water carriers. The most dramatic phase is precipitation, where water returns to the earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. This water replenishes the earth, nourishing ecosystems and providing vital hydration for life.

But the journey doesn't stop there. Once on the ground, water takes various paths. Some seeps into the soil, recharging groundwater aquifers in a process called infiltration. This groundwater can resurface to feed springs and rivers, sustaining aquatic habitats. Other water flows over land as surface runoff, eventually joining rivers and lakes, and returning to the oceans. This runoff plays a critical role in shaping landscapes, carving valleys, and nurturing diverse ecosystems along its path. The water cycle is a remarkable, self-sustaining system, driven by the sun's energy, and it's a fundamental process that supports all life on Earth. It's a cycle that connects every corner of our planet, from the deepest ocean to the highest cloud, in a never-ending, life-sustaining dance.