Do you like water?
We use it every day, for drinking, bathing, washing clothes, cooking food, cleaning the house, etc.
Where do we get it from?
Is it from the tap at home or some other source?
Tap water comes from different sources like rivers, nearby lakes, or wells. Plants and animals depend on rain, rivers, lakes, and ponds for their water needs.
How much water do you think we have on earth?
About two-thirds of the area of planet earth is covered with water. However, most water in seas and oceans is too salty to drink.
So, how do get drinking water?
Drinkable water is stored in ice caps at the North and South poles, mountains, and underground. This water forms rivers and glaciers floating in the mountains.
You might wonder, how does ocean water reach rivers, lakes and wells for our usage?
This happens through the “Water cycle”.
There are three steps in the water cycle:
Evaporation and transpiration:
Have you noticed that water vanishes after some time of being spilled? And that clothes dry after a few hours in the wind?
Water converts into a gas form, goes high up in the sky, and becomes water vapour. This process is called evaporation.
Rivers, lakes, oceans, wells, and even a bucket full of water experience evaporation. Yet, the process is so slow that we cannot see it happen with the naked eye.
What about plants?
Plants release water through their leaves. But since they are living beings, their process of releasing water is specially called- Transpiration.
The temperature decreases as we go up in the air.
When water vapours reach greater heights, they cool down and form tiny drops of water, called droplets.
This process is called condensation.
You can see it when you take water out of the fridge into a glass and a layer of water forms around it.
Through condensation, water droplets float in the air and when they come together, they form clouds.
Some droplets become so heavy that they come back to the earth as rain or snow.
The Return of water:
Most of the snow and rain return to the ocean by merging with rivers and water streams.
The snow that falls on mountains melts and forms rivers which finally end up in the ocean.
Some of the rain that falls on the ground also mixes into rivers. Rainwater also fills lakes and ponds.
Water also goes deep inside the ground. It is called groundwater and it supplies wells and hand pumps.
Now that you know how the water cycle on earth keeps us alive and hydrated, you can appreciate water even more.
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