The water cycle is also called the hydrologic cycle. It is the continuous movement of water from the earth’s surface to the atmosphere and then back to the ground. It is a continuous process. Hence, it does not have a starting or an ending point. Thus, the water present on earth has been in circulation since the evolution of the earth. Water goes through all three states, solid-liquid-gas, in the process. Several factors assist the hydrologic cycle, the sun, air currents to name a few.
Stages of Water Cycle
- Evaporation and Transpiration: This is the initial stage of the water cycle. The process by which water from its liquid state changes to vapor, a gaseous state, is termed evaporation. During the water cycle, water in the water bodies gets heated up and evaporates in the form of vapor, mixes with the air, and disappears.
- Condensation: When the evaporated water vapor loses its thermal energy, it becomes liquid through the process of condensation. The formation of clouds is an example of condensation.
- Precipitation: Rain, snow, sleet, or hail are all examples of Precipitation. After the condensation, atmospheric water vapor forms sufficiently large water droplets and falls back to the earth with the help of gravity.
- Deposition or Collection: This is the final stage of the hydrologic cycle. Deposition occurs when evaporated water vapor falls back to earth as precipitation. This water may fall back into the different water bodies, including oceans, rivers, ponds, lakes, and even end up on the land, which in turn becomes a part of the groundwater. Overall, the water cycle process describes how water is balanced in the atmosphere. It also plays an important role in ensuring the availability of water for all living organisms and also it has a great impact on our environment.