The natural water cycle shows the constant movement of water around the world. Water moves through the processes of evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, run-off, infiltration and percolation.
- Evaporation occurs when the sun shines on water and heats it, turning it into gas called water vapour which rises into the air.
- Transpiration occurs when the sun warms people, plants and animals and they release water vapour into the air.
- Condensation occurs when the water vapour in the air cools and turns back into a liquid, forming tiny water droplets in the sky.
- Precipitation is when water droplets fall from the sky as rain, snow or hail.
- Run-off is when water flows over the ground and into creeks, rivers and oceans.
- Infiltration is when water falls on the ground and soaks into the soil.
- Percolation is when water seeps deeper into tiny spaces in the soil and rock.
Water Cycle Experiments
These experiment look at the water cycle and why water is so important. Water is the most common substance found on earth and is essential for all forms of life. Water can dissolve nearly anything. It can exist as a gas (water vapour and steam), a liquid (water) and a solid (ice).
Find out more with Australian Environmental Education
Water is essential for all life and is the most abundant substance on Earth, yet water scarcity is one of the biggest issues facing us today. Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent and has the lowest rainfall and the lowest water runoff. Most water is Australia is used in Agriculture reducing environmental flows.
You can be part of the solution by looking at your water usage and exploring way that you can be more Waterwise.
The natural water cycle has been modified by people to ensure a constant water supply and the safe disposal of wastewater. The Urban Water Cycle incorporates the Water Supply System, Wastewater system and the Stormwater system.
Water is the most common substance found on earth, so why is it important? Water is essential for all forms of life and can dissolve nearly anything. It can exist as a gas (water vapour and steam), a liquid (water) and a solid (ice).