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Water School

What is the water cycle?

What is the water cycle?

Rainfall that stays in the liquid state becomes runoff that makes up streams and rivers.  Water that is not used for some purpose eventually flows to the ocean.  Water that evaporates from the oceans then condenses and eventually falls back to Earth in the form of rain. This is also known as the hydrologic cycle.

The water cycle is the continuous movement of water in the atmosphere, over the land, and in the ocean. Through precipitation, water condenses, forming a liquid and falling to the Earth as rain, snow, hail or fog.  Once on the ground, water either remains in its liquid state, freezes, becoming ice or evaporates, becoming a gas.

Rainfall that stays in the liquid state becomes runoff that makes up streams and river, water that is not used for some purpose eventually flows to the ocean.  Water that evaporates from the ocean then condenses and eventually falls back to Earth in the form of rain.  This is called the water or hydrologic cycle. For a full-sized chart of the water cycle, click the image on the left.

The video below from the National Science Foundation explains each of the processes of the water cycle, where drinking water originates and how it comes to your home.

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The information provided on this site is intended as background on water within the Brazos River basin. There should be no expectation that this information is all encompassing, complete or in any way examines every aspect of this very complex natural resource.

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